Belgian Farmer Tosses A Stone, Accidentally Moves The France/Belgium Border
It's a common predicament we've all been in at one point or another – One day, you're minding your own business, working on your farm located squarely on the French/Belgian border, when you come across a rock intersecting the forest path you intend to plow with your tractor. Annoyed, you toss that pesky stone aside, roughly 7.5 feet, and in doing so, you inadvertently move a 200-year-old land marker of the two nation's official boundary, opening the potential for an international incident.
Well, folks, it seems a Belgian farmer is seemingly the latest person to fall privy to this all-too-relatable pickle, apparently throwing a centuries-old stone aside while completing yard work, a faux pas only noticed by an eagle-eyed history enthusiast who noticed the rock was approximately 2.29 meters off of its intended location.
"He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it's not a good idea," said David Lavaux, the mayor of the border village of Erquelinnes in Belgium, in what may easily be the understatement of the past two centuries. Although Lavaux was seemingly a-okay with the change, enlarging the jurisdiction of his village by roughly the size of roughly 0.999 Yao Ming-s, he says the mayor of the neighboring French town wasn't too pleased with the countries inadvertent new border. "I was happy, my town was bigger," he quipped with a laugh, per the BBC. "But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn't agree."
Although apparently amused with the new border development, Aurélie Welonek, the French mayor in question is hopeful the incident, which will likely go down in history as the Stone-Throw Dispute of 2021, can be resolved peacefully. "We should be able to avoid a new border war," he said.
The resolution in question? The highly complicated, risky maneuver of Belgian authorities asking the farmer to move the stone back to its original place. However if the farmer refuses to comply, a true act of rebellion in these trying times, the incident could fall into the hands of Belgium's foreign ministry, who in turn, would reintroduce the Franco-Belgian border commission for the first time since 1930. Furthermore, the farmer could also potentially face criminal charges if he refuses, the BBC noted. "If he shows good will, he won't have a problem, we will settle this issue amicably," Welonek explained.
So folks, here's to hoping they manage to resolve the border crisis – it's been a rough year, the last thing we need is World War III: Belgium's Revenge.