Greece reverts to pre-industrial hey day

In an attempt to write down its vast debt through a swap with private bondholders before tonight's deadline, the entire country of Greece has plunged itself back to antiquity. The necessary delay in Greece making its debt obligations is now so far into the future that an opposing force led by the IMF, Angela Merkel and the World Bank, has forced the nation some two and a half millennia into the past.

Although three quarters of the bondholders had already agreed to the swap, a government source is now incapable of imparting the good news internationally until a herald travels to Athens from the town of Marathon, hopefully before the agora opens again for business next Monday. A run on Greek financial institutions began yesterday, as groups of naked rioters charged into the banks armed with spears, battering rams and shields, reducing the financial district of Athens to chaos.

A number of Greek cities and towns have now declared independence from Athens. A herd of elephants from Carthage - under instruction from a fierce hedge fund manager of Persian extraction with facial piecings - has rampaged through the streets of Sparta, led by a mammoth which terrified local children have christened Mr. Snuffleupagus, revealing how popular the recent reboot of the Muppet franchise has become. The remaining infrastructure in Sparta has today been described as "minimal".

Optimism that a default would be averted has been undermined by a complete breakdown in electronic communications. Travel by boat is now the norm as the prime means of communication.

However, the necessity that Greece delay its repayments so far into the future that the country pushed itself back in time has been seen as a potential money spinner. If the safety of visitors can be guaranteed once the rubble is cleared, tourism may once again flourish. With the reversion comes an intellectual revival. A man called Plato has approached the Greek government, with a series of proposals, claiming that he may be able to apply a set of criteria to their economic practices in order to - if not perfect them - at least to strive towards an ideal consolidated debt instrument.