By John Smith • 26 March 2020 • 17:37
POLITICS can come up with some very strange arrangements and one of those is that of Baarle-Hertog, a Belgian municipality that forms an enclave surrounded by Holland.
As the two countries have adopted different rules concerning the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and the Dutch appear to be more laid back than the Belgians, confusion is the order of the day for some residents.
The local police have had to draw up a set of guidelines for Belgians living in the town so that they know what they can and can’t do especially as some of the suburbs are technically Dutch controlled.
It appears that residents of Dutch Baarle-Nassau may still fill up their cars at Belgian petrol stations in Baarle-Hertog and vice versa but people from Holland who don’t live in Baarle-Nassau can’t now visit Baarle-Hertog.
What’s more residents from Baarle-Hertog can still shop in the Baarle-Nassau supermarket, go to a bank, the post office and the newsagents but can’t go shopping in other stores which remain open under Dutch rules such as clothes shops.
Those with key jobs such as teachers and health workers may cross the border, but need to show a special disk supplied by the Belgian authorities.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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