Gayblack Canadian Man

Foreign Policy Analysis
The Island That Switches Countries Every Six Months

The Island That Switches Countries Every Six Months


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description. So, this is the flag of Chad and this is the
flag of Romania. Confusing, right? Well you know what’s really confusing: the 17th century
in Europe. Finland was Swedish, Venice was a country ruled by a Doge, Germany was a bajillion
different things, Belgium was Spanish but called the Netherlands, really nothing made
sense. One of the few things that did made sense, though, was that, aside from Spain
holding territory on five different continents and France four, mainland Spain looked like
Spain and mainland France looked like France. Spain was ruled by the Habsburgs, an 11th
through 17th century version of the Kardashians that gained huge amounts of power through
marrying other powerful people. These Habsburgs also happened to rule the Holy Roman Empire
to the north and east which meant that France was completely surrounded. The country remembered
the venerable adage, “violence is always the answer,” and got to fighting. The Habsburgs
and French were already fighting in the thirty years war but as they teach you in war school,
if you’re already fighting one war might as well start another on a completely different
front. So blah, blah, blah 24 years of fighting, a couple hundred thousand casualties, and
surprise, surprise there was really no clear winner but Spain and France agreed to sign
a treaty to end the conflict. Today the French-Spanish border just looks
like this. You could actually accidentally drive into Spain as there’s no border controls
thanks to the EU Schengen zone but back in the 17th century the border was one of the
most heavily guarded in the world. You could compare it to the DMZ between North and South
Korea today minus the world’s most threatening toddler. In the Korean DMZ the two country’s
representatives meet in buildings directly on the border which have tables inside directly
on the border so South Koreans can sit in their country and North Koreans can sit in
theirs but back centuries ago, the French and Spanish had a different solution. They
would meet here—on Pheasant Island in the middle of the Bidassoa River between the French
town of Hendaye and the Spanish town of Irun. Throughout history this island had been used
a few times as a diplomatic meeting point. In that time diplomacy normally meant sending
your royal son or daughter to another country to be married to their royals but in this
case they had advanced to forcibly marrying their kids and signing a treaty
In the treaty signed on Pheasant Island, the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the island was established
as a condominium—not where your Grandma lives, a territory administrated by multiple
countries. There are a few modern-day examples of this kind of territory. Antarctica, for
example, is one as every country that’s signed the Antarctica treaty is responsible
for the administration of the continent. The Moselle River, which forms part of the border
between Luxembourg and Germany, is also a condominium and so there are a number of bridges
and islands which are part of both countries. There’s a tiny island in the river quite
fittingly near the town of Schengen that’s mostly French but also both German and Luxembourgish.
What makes Pheasant island different than every other condominium in the world, though,
is that it is not part of both countries at the same time. Between the 1st of February
and the 31st of July each year Pheasant is part of Spain then from the 1st of August
to the 31st of January it’s part of France meaning that the territory of each country
fluctuates by 0.00263 square miles depending on the time of year. Now, most other places
in the world changing an island’s sovereignty two times a year would be an enormous hassle
but what’s convenient about Pheasant is that the island is uninhabited so there’s
no population that has to switch between being unemployed and on strike every six months.
Maintaining an empty football field sized piece of land is still a big responsibility,
though. Of course the two countries aren’t actively trying to kill each other nowadays
so they don’t need to meet on the small island to exchange children anymore but the
island still does need maintenance. Depending on what time of year it is, the island’s
upkeep will either be performed by the French or the Spanish parks department. Young hooligans
also often try to camp on the island but they’re dealt with by the police force of the country
the island currently belongs to. In the past there was a ceremony to mark the handover
of the territory every six months but more recently that practice has stopped. The island
is in the Basque country which has a fairly strong separatist movement from Spain and
to a lesser extent France. The road signs on the Spanish side, for example, are in Basque
and English with Spanish left out. A ceremony marking Spanish sovereignty would therefore
just be asking for trouble but the transfer of sovereignty still happens silently. Pheasant
island will likely eventually disappear as it’s slowly eroding but, at least until
laws are changed, this territory will continue flip flopping between countries every six
months. What will never disappear, though, are the
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100 comments on “The Island That Switches Countries Every Six Months

  1. This island ought to be called Persephone (or in Latin, Proserpina) after the Greco-Roman myth about the daughter of Demeter (Ceres), the goddess of agriculture, who was kidnapped by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife. She was required to spend six months of every year with him in the Underworld, making her mother so sad that she neglected the crops, causing winter, and allowed to spend the other six months above ground with her mother, making the goddess so happy that all of Nature came back to life, causing summer.

  2. Why aren't you allowed to go on the island? I read somewhere that the countries once built a wooden bridge to the isle

  3. Imagine if people lived there: "Oh, I think we just turned French today."

    Also, that unemployed/on strike comment was the best.

  4. Tasmania actually doesn’t have passenger trains!

    They ceased operation in the 70s because as the whole island is so scarcely populated most people just drive everywhere.
    So it’s doubtful you could watch skillshare. Unless you work on a freight train.

  5. 4:05 I’ve watched enough videos to know when exactly the advertisements are coming in, and promptly stop the video when I know it’s coming.

  6. I might be wrong but the region shown as "Basque Country" in 3:49 looks like Basque Country + Navarre + part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques; not just the Basque Country

  7. Britain had land on all 7
    (South Merica Falklands, North Merica US, Africa Colonies loads, Asia India, Antarctica Antarctica, Oceania, AUSTRALIA and New Zealand, Europe, Mainland UK)

  8. Yurt in uruguay ….. yurts are pretty rare here in uruguay, its mostly hispters, vegans and alike that build these, and are extremely expensive

  9. I live in Spain. The Unemployment situation has improved. Especially in northern Spain there are many job opportunities. I don't about France however

  10. Actully the first flag is romanian second is chad, sincer romanians flag has a darker blue!

  11. As Spaniard, that thing of being unemployed or in strike, is very funny and quite true.
    But also incredibly offensive.
    Nice and screw you, have a good moment of the day, Sir.

  12. 1:00 "If you're already fighting one war, might as well start another one on a completely different front." – Germany 1940

  13. When he talked about the table in that building in the DMZ in Korea, I immediately thought this:

    A meeting is taking place in the room, and south and north guards are there… A south guard jumps into the north, and a north guard chases him to the other side… And repeat a few times until the north guy chases the south guy around the table……

    Yes, I immediately thought this……… 🙃

  14. you know why they switch country because they wont fight for a island to tale so every six months is changed

  15. Is this a video for international policy, or subletting? You have words like condominium being used and six months here and six months there. It's kind of like the snowbird of islands or something like that. Or France and Spain have some sort of arrangement on the Home Away app.

  16. When the team you're on currently sucks so you switch teams but the team you switched to also sucked so you go back to the team you started from

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