The French ‘Micronation’ That Was Born From 2 Jokes

It is not everyday that a national feeling is born not by language or shared culture but by 2 harmless jokes.

Well, read about one such ‘country’

Perhaps Macron does not know of the “joke” that has lasted since 1947, when a visiting official to the Saugeais – a wooded valley running alongside the Swiss border ­– first declared it a republic. “My father Georges ran a restaurant next to the abbey in the village of Montbenoît,” Bertin-Pourchet recalled.

“One day he was cooking lunch for some officials. When the leader of the Doubs region, Louis Ottaviani, arrived, my father, who was a bit of a joker, asked, ‘Do you have a permit to come into the territory of Le Saugeais?’.”

“Louis also liked a laugh, and after asking my father about the history of Le Saugeais, replied, ‘Well, it sounds like a republic, and a republic needs a president, and therefore I name you the President of the Republic of Le Saugeais!’.”

And thus, the Pourchet dynasty was born. Georges became president and “ruled” over his domain of 11 villages and a few thousand inhabitants until his death in 1968.

The joke could have died out at that point, but for the determination of the priest of the Abbey of Montbenoît and the village mayor, who, in May 1972, told Georgette’s mother, Gabrielle, that

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