5-speed listening (Borders - Level 2)

Farmer accidentally moves Belgium-France border






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Governments spend months, years or even decades making borders between countries. A farmer in Belgium did not need so long. He took just a few minutes to change the border between Belgium and France. He made Belgium about 1,000 square meters bigger and France about 1,000 square meters smaller. He moved a 150-kilogram border stone 2.29 metres inside France. A border stone shows where the border is between two countries. The stone the farmer moved was put there in 1819. The farmer moved it to make it easier to drive his tractor around his field.

Moving a border between two countries can lead to war. Luckily, diplomats in Belgium and France saw the funny side of this. They avoided a crisis in a friendly way. The mayor of the Belgian town said: "The stone was placed there in 1819 following the defeat of Napoleon....We will find the person who moved the stone so we can avoid any troubles. I still have to verify who [he] is." The mayor added: "We know exactly where the stone was before. It was right next to a tree." The mayor of the border town in France said: "I fully trust the Belgian mayor, who did what was necessary."

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