Belgian farmer strikes border with France by mistake

(CNN) — A serious diplomatic incident has been prevented in Europe after a Belgian farmer by accident moved the border with France, making his dwelling nation about 1,000 sq. meters larger. Fortunately, 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 many boundary stones, nevertheless — 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 toes).

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 global kerfuffle.

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

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

Virginie LeFour/Belga/Sipa USA

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

“We all know precisely the place the stone was earlier than, proper subsequent to a tree,” David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, Belgium, informed CNN on Tuesday. “In 2019, in the course of the two hundredth anniversary, they have been geo-localized very exactly.

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

Lavaux added: “It ought to be resolved tomorrow, we’re about to search out the person who moved the stone, so we will keep away from any troubles. I nonetheless need to confirm who the land proprietor is.”

The Belgian mayor confused that native authorities on either side of the border have been eager to resolve the state of affairs shortly and amicably.

“We snigger about this greater than the rest, it isn’t very severe,” he mentioned. “We’ll put 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 city of Bousignies-sur-Roc which had its territory snipped, spoke to French press company Internep in a video interview which additionally featured Lavaux.

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

The 2 cities lie roughly halfway on the Franco-Belgian border, with Erquellines a Walloon municipality with a little bit underneath 10,000 residents and Bousignies-sur-Roc a commune in France’s Nord division with a inhabitants of round 400.

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