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A Republic Within a Republic

By Linda Tancs

Sandwiched between France and Switzerland, Saugeais is a micronation in eastern France. Established in 1947, the self-declared nation in the Haut-Doubs region comprises 11 communes, from Gilley in the north to Arçon in the south and from the Swiss border in the east to Crêt Monniot in the west. Its origins lie in jest, following a French official’s anointing of the area as a republic after jokingly being told he needed a permit to enter the region. Today, visitors are granted a permit to enter, evidence that a good joke is one you can use over and over. The unofficial republic boasts a Prime Minister, a Secretary General, two customs officers, 12 ambassadors and 450 honorary citizens throughout France and Europe who promote its charms.


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