He just dislodged a stone! Two countries mixed up

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Belgian land grew a bit more when the Belgian farmer moved the border stone between the two countries about 2.5 meters on the grounds that he was preventing his tractor and plow from plowing his field. The farmer living in the town of Erquelinnes in the Belgian state of Hainaut, on the French border, could not have thought that the stone found in his field would pose an international diplomatic problem. According to Belgian media, the farmer “redrawn” the marked border in 1819 by moving the border stone in his field to 2 meters 29 centimeters.


The 620 km land border between Belgium and France was officially determined by the agreement signed by the French Emperor Napoleon on March 28, 1820, 5 years after the defeat of Waterloo. At that time, Belgium was part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A local history enthusiast living in the French town of Bousignies – sur-Roc, on the other side of the border, noticed the change of the border during a walk in the forest. Thanks to the new border line drawn by the farmer from Erquelinnes, it was determined that Belgium was expanding its territory without a fight and that France was losing land.


The mayor of the city of Erquelinnes, David Lavaux, told the incident in a humorous way to the French media. “I was happy. My city was bigger, but the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc did not agree,” said the Belgian mayor. “Our peasant citizen has enlarged Belgium, reduced France. It is not a good idea,” Lavaux said. “We must avoid a new border war,” said the mayor of the French city, Aurélie Welenok, jokingly.

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The Belgian authorities will meet the farmer of Erquelinnes and ask him to move the border stone to its old location. If the farmer refuses to do so, a judicial inquiry will be opened against him. In this case, the foreign ministers of the two border countries will have to intervene and convene the border commission for the first time since 1930. Mayor Lavaux told the Belgian media that the problem would be resolved amicably if the farmer did so. proof of goodwill.


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