Grumpy Belgian farmer moves border between France and Belgium

The border between Belgium and France has been largely stable for 200 years.

That is, until a Belgian farmer annoyed with the placement of one of the stones marking the storied territorial divide inadvertently shifted the border 2.3 metres so his tractor could move more easily.

The border-dispute-that-wasn't came to light when a historian walking along the demarcation line noticed that the stone had migrated slightly into France, the BBC reported.

The Belgian village of Erquelinnes, which lies along the 627 km border with France, had as a result grown by two metres. The French town of Bousignies-sur-Roc in turn shed more than a few centimetres.

Cycle through water in Limburg, Belgium, at the ponds region of Bokrijk in De Wijers. The experience was listed in Time Magazine's "World's 100 Greatest Places 2018."

"I was happy, my town was bigger," David Lavaux, the mayor of Erquelinnes, told French TV channel TF1, according to the BBC. "But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn't agree."

The stone in question dates to 1819, one year before the signing of the Treaty of Kortrijk, which set the modern-day boundaries, according to the BBC.

Much has improved in neighbourly relations in the two centuries since Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.

"We should be able to avoid a new border war," Aurélie Welonek, the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc, told a French newspaper.

Belgian authorities told the BBC that they will ask the farmer to move the border back. If he does not comply, they may need to seek help from the Franco-Belgian border commission, which has not been summoned since 1930.

The farmer also could face a fine.

The Washington Post

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