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Farmer Accidentally Moves France’s Border And There Could Be Ramifications

Ever been in the office and somebody’s asked “hey, have you seen my stapler? I’m sure I left it here".

And you say “um, no, I’m not sure, I thought it was there, but I haven’t seen it.” But in the back of your mind you know that you moved it into the stationary cupboard because you didn’t think the stapler belonged to anybody but now it’s been accidentally moved and has caused a bit of an uproar.

Now, imagine doing that but with the border between France and Belgium.

The lines are there for a reason. Image: Getty.

A farmer in Belgium was doing some tractoring, when he came across a stone in his path, and decided to move it about 2.29 metres out of his way. What he didn’t realise was that the stone had been placed to mark the boundary between France and Belgium and, by moving the stone, the farmer had redrawn the border.

The move was discovered by a local history buff who was walking in the forest and noticed the stone had been moved.

This feels like the sort of event that might have started a war back in the 16th Century, but most folks on either side of the now-moved border have been able to laugh it off.

More or less. Image: Getty.

David Lavaux, the mayor of the village of Erquelinnes in Belgium, said “I was happy, my town was bigger. But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn’t agree.”

The stone had been in place since 1819. Who knew it was this easy to move the border of a country? Don’t start getting ideas, it’s not exactly legal to redraw some borders.

Belgian authorities will be in contact with the farmer to ask him to move the stone back to its original place. He could face criminal charges if he doesn’t do so. Fingers crossed he hops on his tractor and moves the stone 2.29 metres back the other direction. Although, if he wanted Belgium to slowly invade France he could pick up the stone and take it to Paris.