Czechs to Give Back 1.42 Square Miles to Poland

Wall Street Journal reports on weird border issue
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2015 4:17 PM CDT
Czechs to Give Back 1.42 Square Miles to Poland
Hikers on a Czech mountain near the border with Poland.   (AP Photo/CTK, Josef Vostarek)

The Wall Street Journal relays progress on one of the strangest and slowest-moving border issues you'll ever encounter. It seems that the Czech Republic owes Poland 909 acres, or 1.42 square miles, and plans to pay up. The land debt goes back to the late 1950s, when the Soviets ordered the two countries to straighten the border between them to make it easier to patrol, reports the Journal. They did so, but Poland got the short end of the stick.

The demise of the USSR raised the issue anew in the 1990s, and the two countries have been trying to hammer out a resolution since. They can't revert to the old borders because things have changed too much—roads, buildings, farms—so the Czechs have agreed to carve out 909 acres and give them to Poland. One example of the weird complications: A Czech farmer may have to stop using one of his barn doors in order to keep his cows in the right country. At this point, the best-case estimate for a resolution is 2020. See the full story. (More Czech Republic stories.)

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