In a surprise result, France has become the first country in history to be evicted from the populated regions of the Earth, narrowly losing out to Iran in a tense final round of voting.
With the phonelines closed and the results counted and verified, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon broke the news to Nicholas Sarkozy in a hilarious late-night phone call.
"It was a right laugh," giggled Mr Ki-moon. "Nicholas thought I was joking at first, but I managed to keep a straight face for long enough to give him the news. Frankly, we decided enough was enough. We just don't want them on the map anymore, simple as that."
France, which has a population of 61,538,322, has been given 7 days to remove itself from it's present location in Europe. The narrow, frozen French Antarctic Territory is thought to be the favoured location for the country to start again, although Pacific Islanders have kindly offered Bikini Atoll to the French, with the view that everyone is entitled to live in a radiation-infested hellhole, not just the Polynesians.
Once the French bit has moved out, the landmass will be disinfected for three weeks, then concreted over to provide much needed car-parking space for the rest of Europe. Despite protests from wine experts, beer will be grown in the south of the region, to safeguard against a relapse back to Frenchness.
No official comment on the new name of the region has been made. But a UN spokesman took time out last night to quash speculative tabloid reports.
"The Area formerly known as France will not be represented with a bizarre symbol, nor will it be called 'The Area'. Or any other ridiculous, pretentious and self-obsessed name. It's been that way for centuries already, so it's time for a fresh start. We favour a more traditional name, but no decision has yet been made."
No Frenchmen were available for comment. Well, they were, but we didn't have a clue what they were saying.