Ailing European country Greece has agreed to the transfer of some of it most saleable star names in order to make a dent in its huge ¢3bn national debt.
Pete Sampras, Jennifer Aniston and Demis Roussos are among those expected to have their nationality sold to another country in order help the country’s troubled financial situation.
Greek finance minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou, told reporters, “We’re obviously hugely disappointed it has come to this.”
“We have spent thousands of years assembling a squad of people capable of competing on all fronts, art, entertainment, business, but it’s clear the previous manager stretched our finances too far in trying to recreate our former glories.”
“If we don’t do something now, we could tumble through the rankings and end up in the third division with people like Lichtenstein and the Faroe Islands.”
There is expected to be significant interest from the major Western countries for some of the more desirable stars, with a bidding frenzy expected once Aniston’s lot number is called.
“Yes, she’s past 40 now, but there are still plenty of really good miles on the clock,” said Italy’s chief negotiator Federico Nazali.
“We gave the tyres a good kicking out back, and she’s definitely our number one target. Italy will be much stronger with Aniston in our ranks.”
“Of course, nothing is finalised until after the medical. We learnt that lesson after a desperate call from the US looking to offload Michael Jackson last July.”
Demis Roussos spoke of his regret at the need to move so close to the end of his career.
“I’ve enjoyed my time being Greek, obviously, and to be honest I hoped I would end my days as a Greek – but these things happen, it’s nothing personal.”
“Now the time has come for a parting of the ways, but I’d like to go on record as thanking the Greek fans the support they’ve given me.”
“I will however be giving 100% for my new country, and I really can’t wait to get started in the next phase of my career.”
One disappointed Greek fan told us, “They go with my good wishes as we seek to rebuild, and in another thousand years we might have another Aniston or Roussos on our hands.”
“Just don’t let me see her kissing the flag of whoever buys her, that would really boil my piss.”