By Wei Seng
In yet another geopolitical write-up, I feature an article from The Economist that proposes replotting the map of Europe to group within Europe the countries with cordial relations and seperate the countries with souring relations. Sounds like an easy exercise isnt it? The Economist also provides justifications for the relocation of countries. It is quite interesting to see the map of Europe adjusted as such, as an indication of which countries have similarities or get along better.
What you see very obviously being adjusted is off the coast of continental Europe. Britain has shifted southwards next to Spain and Portugal because of "similar position(s)" in its "dire public finances". Britain has also broken up into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which might make governance easier. In Britain's place is Poland, "which has suffered quite enough in its location between Russia and Germany" (think of World War 2 and Cold War) and deserves "the security of sea water between it and potential invaders".
In addition, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have shifted out of the Baltics to west of Ireland, forming a group of 4 countries that have undertaken "internal devaluation" to make their economy more competitive. In place of these 3 Baltic states comes Belarus, which deserves some Nordic influence to "shed (its) Soviet legacy", much as how the 3 Baltic states have benefitted from being in the area.
Another obvious change is the split of the south of Italy into a seperate state of its own called Bordello, "to form a currency union with Greece, but nobody else". Probably a depiction of the messy state of finance as well as the amount of organised crime in south Italy.
Some other still-obvious changes include:
1. The northward shift of neutral Switzerland into Scandinavia, accompanying other generally neutral countries like Sweden (which people often mix up with Switzerland) and Norway (happy to see another country not in the EU next to it)
2. Swapping of places between Belgium and Czech Republic, since Belgium suffers from so much squabbling within its fractious Flemish-French coalition government that it deserves to be in Central Europe, while Czech Republic being peaceful suffers from much of the nationalist squabbling in its neighbours. Birds of a feather should flock together huh?
More changes occur in the Balkans, and there's even new fictional countries created to fill some of the gaps created from the shifting of states. The changes here are so messy that I wont elaborate though you could check out the original article for the full explanations.