Norway considers a mountain as a birthday gift for Finland

OSLO, Norway, July 28 (UPI) — Anniversary gift suggestions usually lean toward silver and gold, but Norway is considering giving a mountain to its neighbor Finland on its centennial.

With the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence from Russia coming in 2017, Norway’s gift would involve moving part of its northern border with Finland by almost 70 feet, so that the summit of Mount Halti, 4,340 feet tall, would become Finnish territory, and Finland’s highest peak.

“There are a few formal difficulties and I have not yet made my final decision, but we are looking into it,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NRK, the national broadcaster.

The mountain straddles the border, drawn in the 1750s, but the summit does not; Norway would cede 0.015 square kilometers of its territory, or roughly three American football fields, and “be remembered in Finland for a thousand years,” a commentator wrote on the website of the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat, {link:the Guardian reported.
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While the Norwegian government mulls the idea, online campaigns enthusiastically support the plan. A Facebook page, called “Take Finland to new heights,” has 2,500 likes, and Finland’s embassy in Norway published links to newspaper articles on the topic. The chief of the Norwegian Mapping Board is believed to approve the shift in the border, the Guardian said.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry noted, though, that the country’s constitution clearly says Norway is “free, independent, indivisible and inalienable,” and parliamentary legislator Michael Tetzschner stressed that the constitution “clearly prohibits the surrender by the state of any part of Norwegian territory to another power.”

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