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Europe/ smallest state

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148277.  Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:16 am Reply with quote

Pursuing my old passion for European curios, I will post everal other entries on the forum. Most of them are resilts of my own research, and I can refer you to my book "Little is the Light. Nostalgic Travels in the Mini-States of Europe", Simon & Schuster, London, 1995-96.
A good General Ignorance question: Europe newest state? Not Ukraine or Moldova, but ... Seborga - a small village (about 300 people) on the border of Italy and Monaco. About 20 years ago, a local flower farmer called Giorgio Carbone started pursuing Seborga's independence from Italy on the grounds that it used to be an independent state about 800 years ago and had all the legitimacy for reclaiming its sovereignity. In 1993 - i.e. three years after the new post-Soviet states were proclaimed! - he had himself voted (!) in the village referendum as Seborga's ruling monarch, Prince Giorgio I, and refused to pay Italian taxes. He formed a part-time army of 5 and managed to capture (without bloodshed) a bit of territory from a near-by parish (including the church) that, by his calculations, used to belong to Seborga. He got away with that, because the Italian government did not know how to deal with him. Thus encouraged, Giorgio started appointing Seborga's "ambassadors" in different countries (he offered me to become his British envoy, having issued me with a Seborga passport first, no doubt). His next step was to form his minisiterial "cabinet" which included a "minister for culture and universities" (there's just one school in Seborga). In 1996 - after I wrote about Seborga in The Spectator, I was contacted by the compilers of the Interactive Atlas of the World asking for Seborga's details, because they wanted to put the country on the map. And they did. A couple of years later, Giorgio started minting his own coins and campaigning for recognition by the UN.
He is of course totally mad (having spent a day in his company left me with no doubt about it - I refer you to "Little is the Light"), but the legitimacy of his claim for Seborga's independence cannot be denied.
So, all things considered, the newest European state is Seborga!

I look forward to your comments.

Last edited by Vitali on Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total

148300.  Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:59 am Reply with quote

I think there's a lot to be said for doing some stuff on micronations, I have a lot of stuff on them. There are quite a few micronations in Europe though who, if we're using Seborga, can probably claim to be newer nations.

Kugelmugel in Vienna, or that one in the Scottish Islands run by Robbie the Pict would probably have a claim.

148339.  Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:23 pm Reply with quote

It's not a micronation (although neither is it very big) - and for all I know not especially interesting, but isn't Europe's newest independent state Montenegro? It declared itself independent of Serbia on 3 June 2006.

Seborga and the two which egg mentions sound like fun, all the same.

148382.  Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:58 pm Reply with quote

Unlike Seborga, Montenegro simply RE-INSTATED its statehood, for it used to be an independent nation in the not-so-distant past.
Also, Seborga is not exactly a home-grown "nation" of which there are hundreds. It has legitimacy due to its centuries of history, and no one (not even the Italian government) has officially denied or challenged its sovereignity.
Thanks for your comments!

148454.  Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quote

Hmm, good point Suze, I'd forgotten about Montenegro. Considering that Carbone's grounds for his new republic are historical, the 're-instated' argument seems a little unfair.

As the question stands, I can imagine us getting a lot of quibbles.

148525.  Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:36 am Reply with quote

Perhaps you two are right. Yet the question can be easily reformulated into: what's Europe's SMALLEST (and Seborga, with 300 people, is much smaller than the Vatican, about a 1000 permanent residents, in terms of population) independent state?

148724.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:20 am Reply with quote

Surely Sealand is smaller than that :)

148757.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:40 am Reply with quote

Good point, Dr Bob. Yet Sealand is what they call a "homegrown micronation". And it is not land-based... But you may be right.


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