ATHENS -- Inside sources report Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resorted to hostile threats last month as bailout negotiations with the country's creditors faltered.
During a closed-door meeting of Eurozone finance ministers, Varoufakis reportedly snatched a microphone and silenced the room before warning, "Drop the bailout, or we dump the feta."
His ploy met with audible gasps from those attending. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dropped his cell phone as his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, uttered, "Sacre bleu!"
In a leaked email intended for the Greek Prime Minister, Varoufakis, a game theory guru, gave the following explanation:
"Game theory teaches that it pays to be bold. Schaeuble and his cronies may reject our bailout extensions, but we'll make them regret it. If they refuse to compromise, we must dump every single block of feta cheese into the Aegean."
Economists at the European Central Bank agree that such a move could doom European financial markets. Collapses in feta futures would hit investors and cheese producers hard. If loans from German banks to the colossal Greek feta industry crumble, the Eurozone could face a new slew of bailouts.
In addition, oceanographers warn that the dumped feta could cause a spike in algae levels, crippling key shipping lanes.
"We'll see who gets the last laugh as economies stall, citizens revolt, and Greek salads are served bare across the continent," Varoufakis is rumored to have said.
The threat had a profound effect on the normally steadfast German leadership. Chancellor Merkel admitted in an emergency press conference that she feared the feta fallout could set a precedent: "If we let feta go, Kalamata olives will come next. And then, maybe, yogurt. I don't even want to think about what a lack of breakfast might do to European productivity."
The announcement of Greece's four-month loan extension has done little to curb public outrage. Few could forget the pleas of Hans Burkhardt, a self-styled German pro-feta activist, in his viral YouTube video:
"Think of the children. Think of the gyro shops."
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