Saturday, 20 August 2022

From Serbia to Liberland, Seaplanes Fly by Croatian Borders Again

August 20, 2022 - Liberland seaplanes, whatever next? As discussions on seaplanes returning to the Croatian Adriatic continue, meanwhile on the Danube...

It is 6 years since the Croatian seaplane operator, European Coastal Airlines, was grounded before filing for bankrupcy. Since then, there have been plenty of announcements and initiatives from interested parties about the return of the seaplane service connecting the Croatian coast and its islands. But so far, nothing concrete.

But a new seaplane service came VERY close to the Croatian border a few days ago, but some distance from the Adriatic - on the Danube. 

The self-proclaimed Free State of Liberland, an unclaimed pocket of 7km2 on the Croatian side of the Danube, was claimed by Czech citizen Vit Jedlicka back in 2015 under the claim of terra nullius. Croatia promptly arrested Jedlicka and interned him overnight and ever since has done all it can to prevent Jedlicka from realising his ambitions.Serbia, on the other hand,  has been a little more hospitable, and the Apatin region across the Danube is reaping some economic benefit as a result, including the construction of the Eco Village, ARK Resort

If you haven't come across the Liberland story before, it is truly nuts, and I highly recommend this video about the first anniversary conference in 2016 (including an appearance of me speaking Croatian). Or you can read my report on TCN - Liberland Conference: Reflections of a Weekend in Alice in LiberWonderLand.

Freedom for Liberland! from David Freid on Vimeo.

As for why there are Liberland seaplanes but not Croatian... 

More information in this translated report from the Tango Six portal:

The first ultra-light hydroplane in Serbia: the amphibious "Legend" as the beginning of a new segment of domestic ultra-light aviation

Last week, the first ulta-light amphibious hydroplane of Czech production, registered in Italy, landed in Serbia. After modification, i.e. installation of floats in the Italian city of Cremona, the ultralight "Legend" (an interesting aircraft that irresistibly resembles a Cessna 172) was delivered to a customer in Serbia. As owner Aleksandar Zubac tells the Tango Six portal, his idea is to further popularize this segment of ultra-light flying.

Milorad Matić, the owner of the Aero East airplane factory, helped Aleksandar (whose record-breaking flight with a Tango Six motor kite he wrote about earlier) in the acquisition of the aircraft and the overflight. Since the aircraft is still under Italian registration and that Matić, in addition to their license, also has authorization to fly this type of aircraft, it was a logical choice for, as he tells our portal, a very interesting first flight:

- We flew from Cremona to Portorož, from there to Belgrade and Zemun Polje. The plane spent the night and had its first water baptism at Lake Pavlovačka. Since there are currently no registered water airports in Serbia, we submitted a flight plan for landing at the "operational site", i.e. a privately owned lake, which was approved. After that, we flew to a specially constructed pontoon near Liberland on the same principle for the recent Floating Man Liberland Summer Festival. - says Matić. As he says, the Legend is an amphibious vehicle with retractable landing gear, and the plan is for the SILA planes to also get floats and to modify three of them starting next spring.

The owner of the aircraft Zubac tells us that after kites, ultra-light aircraft and helicopters, a hydroplane is a logical evolution for him, since he deals with water tourism, which he has combined with aviation:

- To begin with, until I complete retraining, the plane is re-registered, and other regulatory prerequisites are taken care of, it will be based at the May 13 airport near Zemun Polje. The plan is for the aircraft to be based in a complex on the Sava called "Progar Cabin House", with direct access to the river. A hall of one thousand square meters is currently being built there, where Legend will be based. The plane cannot be used for commercial purposes; it will be intended to popularize flying from the water. I am engaged in the construction of facilities mainly on the water, the production of catamarans, and it will be interesting to combine these two types of transport.

I am currently in discussions with Aero East for additional purchases of two forces with floats. - said Zubac for our portal.

Help for the whole endeavor was provided by two veterans of hydro aviation from Italy, Graciano Macolari and Oracio Frigino, who have decades of experience in this interesting segment of general and ultra-light aviation. As Matić says, they are crucial both for the process of retraining and support during modifications with floats, as well as for the transfer of experience from Italy and the European Union when it comes to water operations.

As far as hydroplanes in Serbia are concerned (outside the ultra-light category), there is currently only one aircraft on the YU registration. Cesna 206 YU-DNZ owned by Gas Aviation from Smederevska Palanka. We saw her recently at the air show in Prijedor.

Check out the Legend in action taking off from the water by Liberland - video courtesy of the President of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka.  


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

Monday, 20 September 2021

Verdis Republic: New Self-Proclaimed Neighbour of Croatia

September 20, 2021 - Just like Liberland, another state entity saw an opportunity in unclaimed territories between the borders of Serbia and Croatia. Meet the Verdis Republic.

Despite defending its territory and sovereignty in an armed conflict back in the '90s, Croatia still has some unclear territorial issues. 

Back in 2015, a Czech citizen, Vit Jedlicka, used a piece of territory that was claimed neither by Croatia nor Serbia to good use and made himself a president of Liberland. 

„We now have 40 future embassies, a working government, a stable source of income through voluntary taxation, and a clear vision about the development of Liberland. I just finished interviews with Huffington Post and Prague Post, so there is a large ongoing interest from people, as well as from the media, in Liberland“, Jedlicka told TCN in 2015.

After only six months of existence justified by the Terra Nullius law (the first person to lay claim to unclaimed sovereign land has rights to it), Liberland allegedly had 300,000 citizenships applications, and Jedlicka granted 130 of them to people who actually managed to come to the territory of the land

„The reason why neither side had claimed the waterfront plot was simple. When discussing borders, Serbia declared it wanted everything to the east of the Danube and had no interest in anything to the west. Croatia, by contrast, wanted to stick to the land register borders of the 19th-century map when the Danube flowed differently. As there was more land on the Serbian side, they laid claim to that, meaning they did not take up any claim on what was soon to become Jedlicka's Liberland“, explained Paul Bradbury in 2019 when he wrote about four years of Liberland's existence.

But as the Liberland territory isn't the only no-man's land around the Danube region, a new state most recently wants to get the land for itself. 

„Verdis, officially the Free Republic of Verdis, is a sovereign-state claiming an uninhabited parcel of disputed land locally named as pocket 3 of the Croatia-Serbia border dispute on the western bank of the Danube, close to 'Liberland', between Croatia and Serbia. It plans to be a largely environmentally conscious and humanitarian state in Europe. The Free Republic of Verdis is currently aiming for international recognition and a permanent inhabitance on its land claim. With Verdis being the first entity to lay claim to its land-claim, it makes the land-claim legally belong to Verdis even after the Croatian-Serbian border dispute ends. This is due to international law“, says the website of the new neighbor to Croatia and Liberland.

Verdis currently only exists as a website (which tries to get as much attention as possible by contacting various news outlets such as Večernji List) but already has 1,040 citizens. Most of them are Croats and Serbs. So far, nobody lives in the territory, but there are already big plans and ideas of how the state will function. 


Verdis Flag © Free Republic of Verdis
„The population of Verdis is to be divided into Representative groups, each of these groups will have 150 people in them, and there will be 100 groups in total. Every two years a representative elected by their group will sit at the House of Representatives. Here laws and regulations are voted upon. Laws that a majority of the House of Representatives agree to pass are sent to the President to sign. If the President signs the proposed law it will come into effect. If the president does not choose to sign the law, the House of Representatives might have to change parts of the law or persuade the President to pass it“, says the Verdis website.

With the plan so far, Verdis will have 13 ministries and the department of the president. As Večernji List learns, the current president is Daniel Jackson, who, despite the fact you can't vote until you are 18 neither in Croatia or Serbia, is currently 16.

„16-year Daniel Jackson that presented himself as a temporary president hopes that in five to ten years, Verdis will achieve international recognition and have enough money to settle on territory which he claims permanently“, says Večernji List. They add that in order to get citizenship, you need to pay 16 dollars. Jackson also told Večernji List that he has never been to the Verdis territory so far, only negotiated to sail through Dunav, but that the coronavirus pandemic slowed down the whole thing. He also pointed out that all his current endeavors are done with respect to international law. Verdis has also issued several passports.

 The aforementioned environmentally conscious republic has several ideas on how to make this new country eco-friendly right from the start.

„The Government of Verdis has shown increased interest in establishing hydroelectric whirlpools. Although these HW's are small, a single one can power up to 60 homes. They are small, cheap, easy to manage, and are harmless to the environment. This is the most positive plan for Verdisian electricity. As it will take time for Verdis to establish its self-sustained electricity, the government plans to rely on neighboring sovereign-states by paying for essentials until further established“, says the Verdis website.

They add that buildings themselves will be done in a modern and environmentally-conscious design. They will be built as high-rises to ensure more space on the ground.

„This will allow a large population in such a small area while also allowing a normal and decent life in such a small area similar to Monaco“, the new government promises as the president collects money to actually come and visit his country to be.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Move Over Burning Man: Liberland's Floating Man Coming to Croatian Border

August 12, 2019 - The first Liberland Floating Man festival will take place on Croatia's border later this week.

It is more than four years since a Czech man planted a flag in a marshy piece of land on the shores of the Danube and declared the founding of the Free State of Liberland, a story which went around the world and soon attracted more than half a million applications for Liberland citizenship. 

Almost five years later, the Croatian authorities continue their opposition to the settling of Liberland by Liberland President Vit Jedlicka and his growing army of supporters, but there has been a much warmer welcome, certainly at the local level on the Serbian side of the Danube, where Liberland money is trickling into the local economy, a taster of the economic regeneration that could follow to this depressed economic region should the Liberland dream be realised. 

And for from being discouraged at the lack of progress diplomatically, the Liberland presence is growing locally, the latest manifestation of which is the first Liberland festival which will take place this week. Burning Man it may not be but the Liberland Floating Man Music Festival is one more small step for LIberland to develop its identity.  

Here is President Jedlicka introducing the festival, some 3,000 metres above his country. As for the festival, over to the organisers for more information: 

Join us for Liberland Summer Festival - Floating Man, festival for Liberlanders by Liberlanders.  Join us for Liberland Summer Festival - Floating Man, festival for Liberlanders by Liberlanders.  

➤ FLOATING MAN 2019- Concerts and DJs - Day on a boat with DJs and water games.   - Conference with talks about cryptocurrencies, Liberland news, etc.  - Sightseeing flights around Liberland- Sports and free time activity as a slackline

➤ LOCATIONLiberland Cora Airport - Bački Monoštor, Serbia(45°46’58.1″N 19°01’09.4″E)

➤ FESTIVAL TICKETS Only 150 tickets available

➤ LIBERLAND MUSICIANS WANTED Do you have a band, do you write songs, perform, DJ or do you want to participate with any other activities? You are more than welcome to join. Support an idea of a voluntary festival with your activity. For more information and sign in, write a comment on this event. 

➤ The first Floating Man Music Festival (and the official wedding of Vladan and Silvia) is set to take place at Cora Airport, located only ten km away from Liberland. All-day Saturday will be spent on the water, visiting Liberland with different ships, boats and even smaller vessels. It’s a great opportunity to see the construction of as well the Free Trade zone in the port of Apatin. 

Learning from best experience of events like Burning Man or Ephemerisle, we are bringing something new to Europe and the Balkans. Principles like self-reliance and high regard for the environment reflect the spirit of the event. You can also meet Liberland artists, thinkers and best musicians in addition to visiting Liberland from skies or by boat. 

Side events include a presentation of Liberland Flight Academy, our soccer team, and our chess team. Music experience will include some of the best Liberland DJs and jazz performers. We are looking forward to host Varhan Orchestrovič Bauer, the famous composer of Liberland’s anthem. Your event ticket is included with the purchase of Liberland e-Residency. Accommodations can be arranged in one of nearby hotels or directly on the spot with tents which will be available for sale.

For more information about Floating Man, and to get tickets, check out the Facebook event page

Learn more about the Liberland story in this documentary shot during the first anniversary conference in 2016.

Freedom for Liberland! from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Want to learn more about the Liberland story? Check out the dedicated TCN section.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Liberland at 4: US Congressman, British MEP, Bitcoin's Roger Ver Attending

April 10, 2019 - It is almost 4 years since Czech national Vit Jedlicka planted a flag in some marshy land near the Danube and proclaimed the Free State of Liberland.

It is one of my all-time favourite stories of my time in the Balkans, and a story which shows no sign of going away. 

Sunday will mark the fourth anniversary of the establishment of the Free State of Liberland on a 7km2 piece of land on the Danube between Croatia and Serbia. 

Incredibly, after so much fighting over land in the region, neither side had claimed this land as theirs for some 24 years since the breakup of former Yugoslavia. Jedlicka noticed, came with his girlfriend and another friend, planted his flag, and proclaimed his new country under a law called Terra Nullius, whereby the first person to lay claim to unclaimed sovereign land has rights to it. 

The reason why neither side had claimed the waterfront plot was simple. When discussing borders, Serbia declared it wanted everything to the east of the Danube and had no interest in anything to the west. Croatia, by contrast, wanted to stick to the catastar borders of the 19th century map when the Danube flowed differently. As there was more land on the Serbian side, they laid claim to that, meaning they did not take up any claim on what was soon to become Jedlicka's Liberland. 

The story went global, as Jedicka announced his intention of creating a libertarian state with voluntary taxation, encouraging people to apply for citizenship. More than half a million did so. 

Not everyone was thrilled with the new arrival, Croatia in particular, which arrested Jedlicka and imprisoned him overnight as he attempted to visit his new country. His crime was to have left Croatia illegally, as there was no border crossing. Jedlicka's response was to thank his captors for confirming that there was a border, as well as praising their willingness to defend Liberland's borders to prevent undesirables from entering. 

This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of the founding of the State, which will be celebrated on the Serbian side in nearby Sombor, before a fleet of Liberland boats will sail to the shores of their country. Croatia police patrol boats are expected to prevent anyone landing, as in previous years. 

I was present at the first anniversary in Lug, a small village north of Osijek, a rather surreal event which I summarised in A Weekend in Alice in LiberWonderland. Last year's anniversary was a much more polished affair at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi Sad. Liberland had become a darling of the cryptocurrency world, just one of its many admirers, and I don't think I have ever been in a room with so much money in the bank accounts of the attendees. Some $13 billion had been pledged for the construction of Liberland, should it manage to come to agreements with its neighbours. 

One of the most intriguing developments of this year for the Liberland story is EU President Juncker's response to the question from MEP Bill Etheridge on whether or not Juncker regarded the territory where Liberland is as being in the EU or not. Juncker's response that this question 'required further clarification.' 

MEP Etheridge will be one of the keynote speakers in Sombor at this year's event. And he will not be the only prominent international politician on show, as Congressman Tom Garrett will also be speaking. 

The cryptocurrency world will also be well-represented, with Liberland citizen Roger Ver of also due. You can learn more about the Liberland 4th anniversary programme here.

As they say in Liberland, Live and Let Live - check out the documentary made of the first year anniversary.

Freedom for Liberland! from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Official Liberland Statement on Relations with Croatia

For Immediate Release       Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Official Statement on Relations
with the Republic of Croatia

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Free Republic of Liberland

17 January 2019

The Free Republic of Liberland, founded on 13 April 2015, seeks good relations with its neighbors. Liberland seeks to demonstrate the benefits it can bring to the region and to clarify its long-term goals.

The Cabinet of the Free Republic of Liberland hereby asks the Republic of Croatia for a constructive dialogue between the two parties.

Liberland was proclaimed in accordance with international law regarding terra nullius, as the land formerly known as Gornja Siga remained unclaimed by either Serbia or Croatia for over 25 years. A few weeks after Liberland’s proclamation, Croatian police were ordered to enforce an extraterritorial blockade, preventing any visitors from accessing the territory.

The blockade and patrols around Liberland cost Croatian and EU taxpayers large sums of money and prevent all access to the land, even stopping no-impact visits by hikers or beachgoers. In order to solve this impasse, we propose constructive dialogue that will benefit Croatia and support border security.

Since 2015, our visitors have avoided confrontations with Croatian police, and activities and events in the region over the last three years are highly organized, non-violent and do not disturb the peace. Liberland fully disavows attempts to visit the land in 2015 that were disorderly or confrontational.

Liberland has solidified its internal governance and has over 100 global representatives. We have presented our case to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. and the European Parliament in Brussels. In Serbia, Liberland citizens are investing in tourism, maritime industry and high-tech fields.

With common understanding and partnership with Croatia, our project can bring significant investments, jobs and tourism to a region that needs it. Along with the investments that would come with a flourishing Liberland, Slavonia, with its rich culture and history would prosper as it could be a key factor in our long-term development strategy for job creation and tourism. Independent, publicly available economic studies show that Liberland could have a positive incremental impact on Croatian GDP as high as 0.5% or more in just a few years.

We call for an agreement establishing communications channels with our counterparts in Croatia to benefit the interests of both parties. We propose provisions that will:

-Share information for the mutual benefit of both parties
-Agree upon rules for security procedures, especially border areas
-Allow short term, no-impact visitation while avoiding misunderstandings and confrontations
-Save considerable money and law enforcement resources for Croatia and the EU
-Open a means for investment, tourism, jobs etc. to flow through and to Croatia

Liberland seeks a solution which clearly delineates on the map where Croatia’s jurisdiction starts -- and where it ends. We pledge to respect that jurisdiction and Croatia’s borders and seek to be good friends and allies in the long term.

Economic Studies:
Spillover economic effects of Liberland on the economies of Serbia and Croatia
The Importance of Economic Freedom
Free trade zones in Serbia – current situation overview
Overview of taxes, business environment and tariffs in Hungary, Serbia and Croatia
Taxes in Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia: a brief overview

Freedom for Liberland! from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Hrvatska verzija:

Za trenutnu objavu Kontakt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Službeno očitovanje o odnosima sa Republikom Hrvatskom

Ministarstvo vanjskih poslova
Slobodna Republika Liberland

  1. Siječanj. 2019

Slobodna Republika Liberland osnovana je 13. Travnja 2015. godine i od tada teži ka uspostavljanju dobrih odnosa sa svojim susjedima. Republika Liberland je kao takva spremna demonstrirati sve prednosti koje može donijeti regiji, kao i iznijeti svoje dugoročne ciljeve.

Kabinet Slobodne Republike Liberland ovim putem od Republike Hrvatske potražuje konstruktivan dijalog.

Liberland je proglašen u skladu sa međunarodnim pravom i priznatim terra nullius principom, a s obzirom da na komad teritorija prethodno znan kao Gornja Siga, kroz više od 25 godina pravo nisu položile niti Hrvatska, niti Srbija. Svega nekoliko dana po proglašenju Liberlanda, hrvatskoj policiji naređeno je sprovođenje vanteritorijalne blokade. Ista efektivno sprječava posjetitelje da stupe na teritorij Liberlanda.

Blokada i njoj pripadajuće kontrole obale Liberlanda predstavljaju značajni trošak po porezne obveznike Republike Hrvatske, ali i Europske Unije. Nesrazmjerno sa spomenutim troškom, iste uskraćuju pravo pristupa posjetiteljima koji ni na koji način ne remete red i mir, običnim izletnicima.

U cilju rješavanja situacije čije se rješenje do sada nije ni naziralo, Liberland predlaže što skorije pokretanje konstruktivnog dijaloga u svoju, ali i u korist Republike Hrvatske te procesa očuvanja njenih državnih granica.

Od 2015. pa do danas, naši posjetitelji su izbjegavali bilo kakva sučeljavanja sa hrvatskom policijom. Svi događaji u regiji unazad posljednje 3 godine bili su visokoorganizirani i iznad svega, u svojoj naravi miroljubivi. Liberland se ovim putem jasno ograđuje od incidenata iz 2015. godine, u kojima su pokušaji prilaska zemlji svojom konfrontacijskom naravi rezultirali remećenjem javnog reda i mira.

Liberland ima oformljenu Vladu i više od stotinu globalnih predstavnika. Svoju viziju izložili smo i Američkom Kongresu u Washingtonu i Europskom Parlamentu u Bruxellesu. U susjednoj Srbiji, građani Liberlanda ulažu u turizam, brodogradnju i polja visoke tehnologije.

Uz zajedničko razumijevanje i partnerstvo sa Hrvatskom, naš projekat bi mogao biti katalizator značajnih gospodarskih promjena. Uz planirane investicije, Slavonija, kulturom i običajima neviđeno bogata regija, prosperirala bi kao ključan faktor naše dugoročne strategije razvijanja turizma i pripadajućeg otvaranja novih radnih mjesta. Dostupne gospodarske studije predviđaju da bi pozitivan utjecaj na hrvatski BDP dosegao čak i visokih 0,5%.

Ovom prilikom tražimo rješenje koje će za cilj imati uspostavljanje komunikacijskih kanala sa vama, našim kolegama u Hrvatskoj. S time u vidu predlažemo slijedeće:

- zajednički pristup informacijama od koristi za obje uključene strane
- sporazum o sigurnosnim procedurama sa naglaskom na granična područja
- sporazum o neometanim, kratkotrajnim pristupima zemlji, a u cilju izbjegavanja potencijalno konfrontacijskih situacija
- razumniju i prema građanima Republike Hrvatske, fiskalno odgovorniju alokaciju policijskih resursa
- otvaranje respektivnih granica u svrhu ostvarivanja gospodarskih planova na korist vašeg lokalnog stanovništva.

Liberland želi iznaći rješenje koje će na zemljopisnim kartama jasno utvrditi gdje nadležnost Republike Hrvatske počinje, a gdje završava.

Ovom prilikom obvezujemo se na poštivanje nadležnosti i granica Republike Hrvatske te izražavamo svoje najiskrenije želje da u Hrvatskoj pronađemo ne samo svoje prijatelje, već i dugoročne saveznike.

Ekonomske studije:  
Spillover economic effects of Liberland on the economies of Serbia and Croatia
The Importance of Economic Freedom
Free trade zones in Serbia – current situation overview
Overview of taxes, business environment and tariffs in Hungary, Serbia and Croatia
Taxes in Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia: a brief overview

For more information on the Liberland story, follow the dedicated TCN page.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Slavonia and Liberland at 3: Hopelessness versus Hope

The 20th D10e and 3rd Liberland Anniversary conference concluded in Novi Sad in Serbia on April 15, 2018. It was quite a show, and the self-proclaimed Free State of Liberland is quickly becoming a rising star of the Bitcoin/blockchain community, with all the hundreds of millions that come with it. Meanwhile, in eastern Croatia... 

Friday, 5 January 2018

A New Year Message from Liberland President and a 2017 Year in Review Video

2018 will see the third anniversary of the self-proclaimed Free State of Liberland, whose third anniversary will be celebrated on home territory for the first time. A New Year message from President Vit Jedlicka, as well as a video overview of the progress made in 2017. 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Is Croatia Creating a New Liberland Option on the Border with Slovenia?

TCN visited Piran Bay on December 30, 2017, to find out how Slovenia's implementation of the arbitration judgment was affecting local Croatian fishermen. More on that in a subsequent article, but could Croatia's refusal to accept the judgment lead to another potential Liberland on the border between Croatia and Slovenia due west of Zagreb?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Croatia Destroys and Removes Liberland House: Letter of Protest to Foreign Ministry

Surely the most bizarre territorial dispute in the world currently takes on the latest surreal twist as the self-proclaimed state of Liberland sends a letter of protest to the Croatian Foreign Ministry on September 7, 2017, over the destruction and removal of the only building on its self-proclaimed sovereign territory. 

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