The nation most recently known as the French Republic (Republique Français) has filed change of name forms with a number of world organizations indicating that it will hereinafter be known as "Le Pays de la Liberté" (or PDL). The change is expected to be phased in over the next 6 months at what is described as a bureaucratic level. Replacing currency is expected to take several years.
In an immediate move, the newly renamed government filed numerous claims with the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to block and/or be compensated for a vast range of commercial uses of French variants of the word "liberté" as well as the common English words words "free", "freedom" and "liberty".
In separate filings the PDL sought a ruling on use of the word "Lite" from a WTO panel. While acknowledging that "Lite" is generally understood to mean reduced rather than absent fat or calories, a PDL spokesman insisted that the term is "still quite suggestive."
"I'm sure they'll still answer to 'France'," a spokesman for the U.S. State Department grumbled indicating that the United States is taking a wait and see approach to the name change issue.
"We'll have a lot of latitude in how we translate it if they do go through with this," the spokesman continued in a thinly veiled threat indicating that preliminary translations included: "Country of Liberty", "Anarchy Nation" and "Buttheaded Frogland."