Polish tourists proclaim 'Kingdom of Enclava' on no man's land

LJUBLJANA (AFP) - Just weeks after a Czech politician created his own country, a group of Poles have declared a new state - the "Kingdom of Enclava", on the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

During a recent visit to Slovenia, Piotr Wawrzynkiewicz and his friends learnt from locals that there was an unclaimed strip of land near the Slovenian town of Metlika, some 50km west of Croatia's capital Zagreb.

Following the breakup of former Yugoslavia in 1991, seven new states emerged in the region with many border disputes that left some territories as terrae nullius, or no-man's land.

This geographical discrepancy enabled the creation in late April of Enclava on a tiny 100-sq-m stretch of infertile land.

Run under the motto "Citizens of the World", the idea behind Enclava is "to create a place, where everyone, regardless of skin colour, religion or nationality, will be able to express their opinions, study for free, and earn money without worrying about taxes", co-founder Piotr told AFP.

News of the aspiring micronation spread online and more than 5,000 people have so far applied for citizenship, he said.

Meanwhile, around 800 new Enclava nationals voted in the Kingdom's first virtual democratic election last week.

"We accepted candidatures from all over the world. Anyone could stand for election as long as they are or were not a member of an extremist group, convicted of a criminal offence or currently being prosecuted," Piotr said.

Enclava has adopted the cryptocurrency Dogecoin and recognises five official languages, including Chinese.

It is also in the process of drafting a constitution and preparing electronic identity papers.

But for now the kingdom exists only as an "online state", found at www.enclava.org.

Slovenia's foreign ministry was not available for comment regarding Enclava.

"At the moment, no governmental entity has recognised (our) claim - this is a common issue for all new micronations," said Piotr.

In early April, Czech national Vit Jedlicka created the Free Republic of Liberland on a small parcel by the Danube river between Croatia and Serbia.