Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Belgian farmer moves border with France by mistake

(CNN) — A significant diplomatic incident has been averted in Europe after a Belgian farmer by chance moved the border with France, making his house nation about 1,000 sq. meters larger. Luckily, native authorities noticed the humorous facet.

The border between Belgium and France stretches 390 miles (620 kilometers) and the stone markers that outline it have been peacefully in place for greater than 200 years.

One of the boundary stones, nonetheless — laid down in 1819, shortly earlier than the Treaty of Kortrijk sealed the deal — was just lately noticed as being misplaced by 2.29 meters (7.5 ft).

A farmer from the Belgian city of Erquelinnes is believed to have moved the nuisance stone on his land to a extra handy spot, with out anticipating the potential for a world kerfuffle.

Erquelinnes, Belgium, is at the center of a border mishap with France.

Erquelinnes, Belgium, is on the middle of a border mishap with France.

Virginie LeFour/Belga/Sipa USA

The displaced border all alongside the farmer’s area amounted to an unintentional land seize of round 1,000 sq. meters.

“We know exactly where the stone was before, right next to a tree,” David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, Belgium, advised CNN on Tuesday. “In 2019, during the 200th anniversary, they were geo-localized very precisely.

“The stones had been positioned there in 1819 following the defeat of Napoleon, and the yr is inscribed on them.”

Lavaux added: “It must be resolved tomorrow, we’re about to seek out the individual that moved the stone, so we are able to keep away from any troubles. I nonetheless need to confirm who the land proprietor is.”

The Belgian mayor stressed that local authorities on both sides of the border were keen to resolve the situation quickly and amicably.

“We snort about this greater than the rest, it isn’t very critical,” he said. “We’re going to place again the border the place it belongs. Our intention wasn’t to make Belgium larger and France smaller!”

Aurélie Welonek, the mayor of the French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc which had its territory snipped, spoke to French press agency Internep in a video interview which also featured Lavaux.

“Our two nations get alongside effectively, so there have been no nice issues at this level,” she said. “I totally belief my Belgian counterpart who did what was needed with the farmer. We requested him to maneuver the stone again, and will he not cooperate, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would become involved.”

The two cities lie roughly halfway on the Franco-Belgian border, with Erquellines a Walloon municipality with a little bit beneath 10,000 residents and Bousignies-sur-Roc a commune in France’s Nord division with a inhabitants of round 400.

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