Tiny Belgium to get tinier as Netherlands grows
- Record-setting rally pushes on as S&P ends week up 3 percent
- Trump's Cohn Pick Most Bullish Sign Yet for Banks - Cowen
- Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers: (IDXG) (INVN) (EBS) Higher; (SCON) (DTEA) (DLTH) Lower (more...)
- 21st Century Fox (FOXA) offers to acquire Sky for GBP10.75/share
- Coca Cola (KO) Announces James Quincey to Succeed Muhtar Kent as CEO; Kent to Continue as Chairman
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders sign a border correction treaty as Belgian King Philippe, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima look on in Amsterdam during an official state visit to the Netherlands Nove
News and research before you hear about it on CNBC and others. Claim your 2-week free trial to StreetInsider Premium here.
By Marilyn Haigh
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium is about to get smaller and the Netherlands bigger.
The two countries have agreed to a swap of land, a peaceful handover on a continent where borders have long been a source of bloodshed.
Each will cede small, uninhabited parcels of land to reflect a change in course of what is known in French as the river Meuse, and in Dutch as the Maas.
But it is not equal. Belgium will give two peninsulas of 16 hectares (40 acres) to the Netherlands and receive one of 3 hectares in return.
It all comes down to humans messing with Mother Nature, in this case straightening the river.
After Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands in 1830, the border was drawn along the Meuse. But in 1961, the river was straightened to make navigation easier, placing parts of each country's territory on the other side of the river.
With the current border, the only way to reach the land without crossing into another country is by boat.
A Belgian foreign ministry spokesman said police would find it very difficult to access the strips of land that Belgium is relinquishing if any incident were to occur.
"It was just not logical that that small piece was still part of Belgium," he said.
The border will most likely change at the start of 2018 after both countries have ratified a treaty signed on Monday by the Dutch and Belgian foreign ministers.
The land swap, however, does not extend to the border village of Baarle-Hertog, which famously has non-contiguous bit of the Netherlands in Belgium and vice versa.
(Editing by Philip Blenkinsop/)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- About 40 cars in pile-up on snowy highway near Detroit
- Sri Lanka approves 2017 budged aims to raise revenue through taxes
- Islamic State militants enter Palmyra after heavy fighting: monitor
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!