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Old February 6th, 2016, 12:27 PM   #14201
OulaL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Talking about Haparanda, do you know if it functioned as one city with Tornio before both countries joined the EU? It's always held up as an example of European cooperation, but I've always wondered if this was a modern day thing or if they had been effectively functioning as one city for years.
Well, Tornio was a Swedish city to begin with. Until 1809, when Tornio was captured by Russia (along with Finland), Haparanda (as an administrative unit) simply didn't exist. Haparanda was founded after the war to serve as a replacement for Tornio.

Finland became independent from Russia in 1917 and the Nordic passport union was founded in 1952; Tornio and Haparanda have coexisted more or less like today at least since then.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 12:57 PM   #14202
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Originally Posted by MrAkumana View Post
Actually nowadays Tornio and Haparanda don't fell very integrated... they use different currencies to pay, they are on different time zones,
Obviously the cities don't decide their time zones or currencies - although as already mentioned, most businesses accept both of them anyway.

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Originally Posted by MrAkumana View Post
they use extremely different languages and most signs are not bilingual at all
Finnish (both its standard form and meänkieli) is an official local minority language in Haparanda, meaning that residents are entitled to have certain public services in it. However this is quite invisible to a tourist, as it is usally not shown in signposts in the centre.

However, when moving from the centre to the countryside, Finnish is actually the dominant language and most villages only have a Finnish name. Obviously the signs to these villages aren't bilingual either, and a tourist knowing neither Finnish nor Swedish probably doesn't realise the finnishness at all.

On the other hand, Swedish is virtually nonexistent in Tornio.

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they have just 2 streets crossings
This is natural, since Tornio was originally an island in the middle of the river. The western branch has more or less dried up, but the groundwater is still high, making all construction work challenging. The eastern branch is still there (of course it isn't called "eastern branch" anymore, but simply the river) and separates Tornio centre from the rest of Finland.
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Last edited by OulaL; February 6th, 2016 at 01:31 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 06:04 PM   #14203
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I was completely disapointed when I visited these cities that are supoused to be an example of european cooperation... Irun-Hendaya, Menton-Ventimiglia or Strasboug-Kehl feel much more integrated than these 2...
They will feel more integrated after this:

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Old February 7th, 2016, 12:56 PM   #14204
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Irun-Hendaye are clearly separated by a river (otherwise, it is almost impossible to land in the Irun airport without passing through France if the wind keeps mandatory going north)


Have a look to Els Limits-Le Perthus!!!!!
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Old February 7th, 2016, 04:36 PM   #14205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAkumana View Post
Actually nowadays Tornio and Haparanda don't fell very integrated... they use different currencies to pay, they are on different time zones, they use extremely different languages and most signs are not bilingual at all, they have just 2 streets crossings and both full of cameras watching you...

I was completely disapointed when I visited these cities that are supoused to be an example of european cooperation... Irun-Hendaya, Menton-Ventimiglia or Strasboug-Kehl feel much more integrated than these 2...
The word "coexistence" is the word describing the status quo and the target state, not "integration". Sweden and Finland are two separate countries, with their own legislation, currency, time zone, language, etc. The EU membership has made many things easier, but there still are separating things left.

For example, any shop is either Finnish or Swedish, not both. You cannot serve the Finns according to the Finnish rules and the Swedes according to the Swedish rules. The joint bus station is an example of this. As it is located in Sweden 80 metres from the border, the traffic to and from Finland is international, and special VAT rules apply.

The currency is rather a minor issue today, because everyone pays card. As OulaL has explained, the language question is much more fine-grained than the street signs tell.

There are a lot of cross-border integration points in place like joint healthcare, rescue, customs, icebreaker, and police operations. These are invisible to random tourists, but they are very important from the coexistence point of view.

Last edited by MattiG; February 7th, 2016 at 04:53 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #14206
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A new border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico was inaugurated on February 4. It connects Tornilo, Texas with Guadalupe, Chihuahua, and connects I-10 with carretera federal 2. It replaces the Fabens–Caseta International Bridge which opened in 1938. The new border crossing is much larger. FM 3380 serves it on the U.S. side.

The new border crossing is ideal for traffic towards Ciudad Juárez from the east that wants to avoid the busy border crossing at El Paso. This border crossing is located about 25 miles / 40 km southeast of El Paso.

This is the Mexico side, with the new bridge of MEX-2 on the foreground.

FOTO 1 by SCT México, on Flickr

The new international bridge across the Rio Grande (though there isn't much of a river...)

FOTO 4 by SCT México, on Flickr
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Old February 7th, 2016, 09:48 PM   #14207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
The joint bus station is an example of this. As it is located in Sweden 80 metres from the border, the traffic to and from Finland is international, and special VAT rules apply.
Would it not have made sense to declare the road to the bus station and the bus station itself to be under joint Finnish-Swedish VAT administration for the purpose of passenger transportation?

It's silly things like this that the EU has really failed to deal with.
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Old February 8th, 2016, 09:40 AM   #14208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
A new border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico was inaugurated on February 4. It connects Tornilo, Texas with Guadalupe, Chihuahua, and connects I-10 with carretera federal 2. It replaces the Fabens–Caseta International Bridge which opened in 1938. The new border crossing is much larger. FM 3380 serves it on the U.S. side.

The new border crossing is ideal for traffic towards Ciudad Juárez from the east that wants to avoid the busy border crossing at El Paso. This border crossing is located about 25 miles / 40 km southeast of El Paso.
It's Tornillo :P funny name for a city.

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Old February 8th, 2016, 01:48 PM   #14209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Would it not have made sense to declare the road to the bus station and the bus station itself to be under joint Finnish-Swedish VAT administration for the purpose of passenger transportation?

It's silly things like this that the EU has really failed to deal with.
It was attempted. But because there is no such thing as a joint VAT administration across the member states, it failed. Basically, the Finnish bus cargo company had to open a subsidiary to Sweden, and the Tornio-originated cargo is subject to the Swedish VAT. For passenger traffic, the case is easier, because the international traffic is VAT-free.

(This mess effectively rules out the bus traffic Ikea-Bus Station-Finland. The trips Ikea-Bus Station would be subject to the Swedish VAT, the border crossing trips VAT-free and remaining trips subject to the Finnish VAT. That would make things too complicated.)
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Old February 10th, 2016, 04:33 PM   #14210
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Entikong-Tebedu Border Crossing (Indonesia-Malaysia)

A major upgrade is now underway in the Indonesian side

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Old February 12th, 2016, 01:56 AM   #14211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
It was attempted. But because there is no such thing as a joint VAT administration across the member states, it failed. Basically, the Finnish bus cargo company had to open a subsidiary to Sweden, and the Tornio-originated cargo is subject to the Swedish VAT. For passenger traffic, the case is easier, because the international traffic is VAT-free.

(This mess effectively rules out the bus traffic Ikea-Bus Station-Finland. The trips Ikea-Bus Station would be subject to the Swedish VAT, the border crossing trips VAT-free and remaining trips subject to the Finnish VAT. That would make things too complicated.)
That is complicated. Is that always the case with cross border services? I took a bus from Maastricht to Aachen a few years ago and it looked to me that you could get on and off anywhere and the price was the same whether you crossed the border or not.

Would it be easier to have the bus station on the border with Finnish buses on one side and Swedish ones on the other, so the border is only ever crossed by passengers on foot?
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Old February 12th, 2016, 03:35 PM   #14212
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That is complicated. Is that always the case with cross border services? I took a bus from Maastricht to Aachen a few years ago and it looked to me that you could get on and off anywhere and the price was the same whether you crossed the border or not.
The VAT rate and the customer price are not directly in connection to each other. The bus trip may be priced flat despite of the VAT rate differences.

The population of the Aachen-Maastricht area is 20+ times the population of the minor cities Tornio and Haparanda. This implies more income to the bus companies making it possible to buy more complex systems for VAT clearing and other such stuff. The public transport is rather a minimal player on the T-H area, and the non-willingness to invest into other than the basic bureaucracy interfaces is understandable.

(BTW, the biggest local bus company on the Finnish side went bankrupt last week and the last departures took place on Tuesday. Another companies have taken over some of the routes but not all.)

Quote:
Would it be easier to have the bus station on the border with Finnish buses on one side and Swedish ones on the other, so the border is only ever crossed by passengers on foot?
The bus station is brand new: opened on 2013. At the planning phase, the state authorities gave some weak promises that the VAT issue could be solved. The promises did not realize. The problem is not big, but it tells us that there still is not a truly border-free European economic area.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #14213
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Märket solution: let's move the border so that it cuts the bus station in half, and give an equal area from Finland to Sweden elsewhere.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 11:11 PM   #14214
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My thoughts on Haparanda/Tornio

Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
However, when moving from the centre to the countryside, Finnish is actually the dominant language and most villages only have a Finnish name. Obviously the signs to these villages aren't bilingual either, and a tourist knowing neither Finnish nor Swedish probably doesn't realise the finnishness at all.

On the other hand, Swedish is virtually nonexistent in Tornio.
Interesting that 407.000 people live within a radius of 130km from Haparanda.

4 cities are located on this 130km radius from Haparanda.

Rovaniemi 124km
Oulu 132km
Boden 130km
Luleå 129km


Within a 130km 1,5h drive from Haparanda you can reach 4 finnish cities.

Tornio (pop 17.000) Kemi (pop 22.000) Rovaniemi (pop 51.000) and Oulu (pop 129.000)

Within a 130km 1,5h drive from Haparanda you get to 2 swedish cities.

Boden (pop 18.000) Luleå (pop 46.000)

Conclusion: Haparanda is more closer to urban Finland, than to urban Sweden.

I have never been to Haparanda and most swedish people perceive this small city as an exotic outpost they only heard about in the news due to some gypsy brawl in closeby Vojakkala a few years ago.

I think Tornio is considered to be a closer city for finns than Haparanda is for swedes.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 12:57 AM   #14215
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Sure. Well over 2/3 of the Swedish population live further in the south than the entire Finland.
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Last edited by OulaL; February 13th, 2016 at 11:26 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 02:23 PM   #14216
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New Bosnian border crossing on the south of the country, between Bosnia and Croatia







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Old February 14th, 2016, 02:36 PM   #14217
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I have a question:

1) Is there a legal basis in EU for police officers to conduct border controls like customs?

2) Can you rightfully refuse police officers in EU for your vehicle to be searched in detail, I mean: trunk, spare wheel and compartment, undercarriage, motor, under seats, boning the vehicle, etc. without receiving a "probable cause" at least, and at EU-Schengen borders?
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Old February 14th, 2016, 02:53 PM   #14218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Maynard View Post
I have a question:

1) Is there a legal basis in EU for police officers to conduct border controls like customs?

2) Can you rightfully refuse police officers in EU for your vehicle to be searched in detail, I mean: trunk, spare wheel and compartment, undercarriage, motor, under seats, boning the vehicle, etc. without receiving a "probable cause" at least, and at EU-Schengen borders?
1) Yes 2) No
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Old February 14th, 2016, 03:19 PM   #14219
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1) What is this legal basis?

2) Legal article, stating that undocumented deep searches by police officers in EU are permitted, please.

So basically, police officers can turn upside down all your vehicle and dismount it without any legal grounds; but the same officers let pass totally unlawfully millions of illegal migrants inside EU without even looking at them nor their belongings. That's a totally incredible situation and lack of all consistency!

The most hilarious in all this: asleep Europeans think that they are leading in respecting one's individual rights and "rule of law", while in fact they are in the bottom .
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Old February 14th, 2016, 04:18 PM   #14220
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1) What is this legal basis?

2) Legal article, stating that undocumented deep searches by police officers in EU are permitted, please.
Are you kidding? Show me one sovereign country not authorizing its police force to do such operations.
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