'Happy birthday to you, what a fantastic view, happy birthday dear Finland...', Norway gift wrap a towering treat for their neighbours

Happy 100th birthday, have a mountain! Norway to give rather large gift to Finland to mark centenary of independence

Mount Halti: likely to need a few rolls of wrapping paper

Friday, July 29, 2016

What's the best birthday present you've ever received? Socks? A Netflix subscription? Has anybody ever handed over a snow-capped mountain as part of your celebrations? 

Thought not.

Well pay attention Finland, that may be about to change. Norway is seriously considering altering its borders to give the peak of Mount Halti in the far north of the country to the Finns in 2017, to mark the latter's 100 years of independence from Russia.

At a stroke, the gift would make the mountain – which stands at 1,365m (4,478 feet) – the highest point in Finland. 

To be fair, it's not a hugely dramatic gesture. The current border would only need to move around 40m (131 feet) up the side of the mountain. 

Stig Pettersen, the founder and host of Norway's most popular foreign policy podcast Du verden!, told Julia Hartley-Brewer why moving a mountain would mean so much to the Nordic neighbours.

"To understand why this idea is so popular, you have to go back to the notion of Nordic fraternity and the bonds that are between Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark" he said. 

"We have adjusted borders successfully with Russia on several occasions [in the past], why can we not do the same with Finland?"