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Belgian Grower Unintentionally Expands Nation


Belgian Grower Unintentionally Expands Nation

Acknowledgment: Unsplash

Country sizes and outlines were established by our predecessors ages ago, likely after extensive negotiations filled with vows of everlasting friendship. At least, that’s what I speculate, being no expert in geography. However, those boundaries have endured over time, making any alterations a challenging endeavor. Yet, if changes are ill-advised, they probably shouldn’t be so straightforward.

A cultivator residing near the Belgium-France border stumbled upon a sizable, rectangular stone obstructing his path while driving his tractor along a forest trail. Irritated by the hindrance, he moved it aside to proceed. Later, a history enthusiast passing by noticed the displaced stone, revealing it as a boundary marker from 1819 delineating the border between the two nations. Inadvertently, by relocating the stone, the grower unintentionally enlarged Belgium and shrank France.

Fortunately, the unexpected turn of events was met with good-natured amusement rather than outright annoyance.

“Expanding Belgium at the expense of France is not the wisest decision,” remarked David Lavaux, mayor of the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, to French TV channel TF1. “Although it pleased me that our territory grew, the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc had a different perspective.”

“Let’s strive to avoid sparking a new border conflict,” playfully commented the mayor of the neighboring French village, Aurélie Welonek.

Local authorities seek to reach out to the grower responsible for the stone’s displacement to request its return to its original position. The reasoning behind singling him out for this task eludes me; perhaps it symbolizes something. Nonetheless, if the grower declines, the Belgian Foreign Ministry may need to intervene, potentially resulting in legal consequences. It is preferable that he averts a bureaucratic ordeal by simply moving the stone back.

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