Help us to continue making a difference

December 20, 2014


Bulgarian & Greek authorities search for missing Bulgarian security chief

Senior Bulgarian law enforcement officials held talks with Greek officials this past week in an effort to locate a former national security head Petko Sertov, who suddenly went missing.

According to reports from Bulgaria, on December 5th, Sertov left his home in Sofia, leaving behind his two mobile phones and his international passport. He then apparently drew cash and climbed into a car heading in the direction of Greece. Video footage appears to confirm that he crossed the Bulgarian-Greek border.

His disappearance was reported by Sertov’s wife on December 6th and a missing person case that has prompted headlines in Bulgarian media for a fortnight got underway.

An alert declaring Sertov a missing person has been posted by Interpol.

Source: Sofia Globe

, , , , ,

ANALYSIS - Foreign Bankers Descend on Ukraine - The Feeding Begins

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl says that any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

F. William Engdahl (NEO via LD) - The US-picked Ukraine President, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko called “snap” elections at the end of August for October 26. He did so to make sure genuine opposition to his regime of murderers, gangsters and in some cases outright Nazis would be able to push an unprepared genuine opposition out of the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament. Because the parliament had significant opposition parties to the US-engineered February 22 coup d’etat, they had blocked many key pieces of legislation that the Western vultures were demanding, from changing key land ownership laws to privatization of precious state assets. By law, the old parliament would have sat until its five year term ended in October, 2017. That was clearly too long for State Department neo-con Ukraine puppet-mistress Victoria Nuland and her backers in Washington.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

The ridiculous charade

Yatsenyuk, former finance minister in a previous criminal regime, and a suspected senior member of the US-intelligence-friendly “Church of Scientology,” has named three complete foreigners as cabinet ministers in key economic posts. And in an extraordinary act, the three have been made instant Ukrainian citizens by Poroshenko in a ridiculous ceremony. Ukraine is looking more and more like the US-occupied Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when General Arthur MacArthur, father of the mentally-dis-ordered Douglas, was Washington’s dictator on the spot.

The new Ukrainian Finance Minister, the one who will control the money and decides where it goes, is one Natalia A. Jaresko. She speaks fluent Ukrainian. Only problem—she is an American citizen, a US State Department veteran who is also a US investment banker. Now, the Ukrainian Constitution, prudently enough, stipulates that government ministers be Ukrainian. How then does our sweet Natalia come in?

The President of Ukraine, another Victoria Nuland favorite, the “Chocolate King” corrupt oligarch billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, made her a Ukrainian citizen in a bizarre ceremony the same day just hours before the parliament declared her Finance Minister.

In justifying his astonishing move, Poroshenko declared:
     “There are absolutely extraordinary challenges facing Ukraine…All this requires innovative solutions in the government…These decisions mean searching for candidates for the new government not only in Ukraine but also abroad.”
Forget your earlier silly schoolbook notions about how a democracy and a nation function. This is the age of no nation state, of private capital taking over the world for sake of profit. Looting über alles is the motto. The nation of Ukraine is being put on the auction bloc to be privatized anyway, so it makes sense that the auctioneers at the US State Department head-hunt the ones to do the inside job of preparing that auction wherever they find the willing executioners. And because what the privatizers have planned, it is easier to believe a non-Ukrainian would let the country be raped easier than a native Ukrainian, even corrupt natives.

In her acceptance speech Jaresko declared, “The new team aims to change the country, to improve its transparency and to eliminate corruption. The members of the team are ready to deal with the challenges Ukraine faces today. This is a government of professionals and technocrats, and we intend to work. I’ve been living in Ukraine for 22 years and until this day I was the head of a large company that controlled three investment funds.,” she told Ukrainian television news service TSN.

What Jaresko did not say was that she had been sent to Ukraine 22 years before as a member of the US State Department.

Jaresko’s qualifications for the job fit the requirements of a vulture fund rapist banker. She was founder and CEO of Horizon Capital Associates, LLC. Her Horizon Capital is “a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in early stage, buyouts, growth capital, and expansion opportunities. It prefers to invest in financial services, fast moving consumer goods, retail, and industrial goods sectors. It typically invests in mid-cap companies based in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova,” according to Business Week. They were founded in 1995 and have offices in Kiev. Jaresko is also at the same time CEO of a private equity fund WNISEF.

WNISEF or Western NIS Enterprise Fund is a $150 million private equity fund, active in Ukraine and Moldova investing in small and medium-sized companies. Since its inception, “WNISEF has invested approximately $168 million in 118 companies in the region in a range of industries with a concentration on fast moving consumer goods, construction materials, packaging, retail, and financial services. WNISEF is managed by Horizon Capital Associates, LLC. WNISEF was established by the US Congress and funded by the US government via US Agency for International Development (USAID).”

Before she founded Horizon and WNISEF, the Harvard-trained Jaresko worked for the US State Department in the IMF-steered looting of the country that began just after the US-inspired collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. From 1992-1995 she was Chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Kiev. When US-backed Viktor Yushchenko was installed via Washington’s “Orange Revolution” as President in 2004, Jaresko served on his Foreign Investors Advisory Council.

US State Department deputy spokeswoman, former CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf has already denied Washington had any hand in her appointment. Of course she would never lie.

Another foreign banker as Economy Minister

Apparently not satisfied that only one investment banker as Finance Minister would suffice, Nuland’s Washington friends have installed Aivaras Abromavicius, a Lithuanian investment banker, to be Economy Minister. According to the official US Government propaganda site, Radio Free Europe—the old CIA Cold War propaganda news service still exists, with its old name as kind of a sick joke—Abromavicius, born in Vilnius, Lithuania, has worked in Kyiv since 2008 as partner and fund manager at the East Capital asset management group. East Capital reportedly has invested almost $100 million in 2012 in Ukrainian projects. It would be interesting to know whose money. Abromavicius describes himself as a Ukrainian patriot (sic!), and has pledged “radical measures.”

East Capital is a Sweden-based “frontier markets” fund active in 25 emerging market countries. The founder of Abromavicius’ East Capital is Peter Elam Håkansson according to their website. Before that Håkansson held leading positions with the Swedish Wallenberg family’s Enskilda Securities.

And a Georgian Health Minister

Rounding out the bizarre new Cabinet of Yatsenyuk is Alexander Kvitashvili, a Georgian. Kvitashvili was health minister in Georgia between 2008 and 2010, under then-President Mikheil Saakashvili, like Yushchenko, another US-installed corrupt puppet President from the US-financed Rose Revolution of 2003. Kvitashvili studied and worked in the United States before becoming Georgia’s health minister.

According to Radio Free Europe, “Yatsenyuk has tasked Kvitashvili with introducing sweeping reforms to tackle rampant corruption among health authorities.” However, the designated corruption-fighter has one handicap: he does not speak the Ukrainian language. That doesn’t matter apparently, as he has stated that he has a “deep respect for Ukraine and its people.” More than that, a corruption-fighting health minister in Ukraine these days apparently doesn’t need.

Rape of an entire country, just as rape of a small child, is murder. It is a form of murder of the soul and ultimately of the child. Forty five million Ukrainians do not deserve such treatment any more than an innocent four-year-old child does.

The author, F. William Engdahl, is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” 

SUSPICIOUS: IMF holds back bailout funds for Cyprus

The (resource-sucking) International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier this week that it is not going to give Cyprus a further 88 million euros in funds under its bailout program after Cypriot lawmakers decided to suspend a foreclosure law.

The IMF announced the postponement of the loan installment on Thursday.
    “Following today’s suspension of the existing legislation on foreclosure, critical requirements for the completion of the fifth program review are now no longer met,” the IMF said in a statement.
The IMF further said the “next steps” would be discussed with authorities in Cyprus, adding, “We look forward to continued cooperation, and will agree with the authorities on next steps in the period ahead.”

Parliamentarians in Cyprus said they decided to suspend the foreclosure law in order to give the government time to draft additional insolvency legislation to act as an extra buffer aimed at protecting those who lost their jobs or witnessed cuts to their salaries.

Cyprus received its last tranche of bailout loans in November after Nicosia amended laws on foreclosure and on forced sales of mortgaged property, as part of conditions of the loan.

September last year, the IMF agreed to grant 84.7 million euros in financial aid to Cyprus, as part of a 10-billion-euro bailout program to the country, known as the Extended Fund Facility.

The bailout is aimed to save Cyprus from bankruptcy and possibly guarantee its future in the eurozone.

The country plunged into economic meltdown in 2012 as Greece’s financial crisis spilled over, crippling Cypriot banks and forcing depositors to accept reductions in the value of their bank accounts.


December 19, 2014

, ,

Haikalis' alleged bribery made by a former associate of Kammenos? - PLOT THICKENS

credit protothema
Earlier today HellasFrappe published an article where Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Pavlos Haikalis claimed that he was offered 2-3 million Euros to vote in favor of Mr. Dimas in the Presidential election. (Click HERE to read)

A report from the state news agency said later on that about a week ago the Appeals Prosecutor ordered Attica police to launch a preliminary investigation in relation to the attempted bribery of deputy Pavlos Haikalis. The deputy has been called to testify twice and, according to the same sources, has revealed the name of the person that attempted to bribe him.

The same sources said that in cooperation with police he had arranged to meet with the suspect but he did not appear.

The prosecution is alleged to have sent directly the video tape to the Criminal Investigation service.

On Friday the leader of the ANEL party, Panos Kammenos, said that he had met with the man who allegedly tried to bribe Haikalis, and much to every one's amazement he said that this man briefly worked as his consultant.

Kammenos said that he cannot publish the taped footage as Greek law doesn't permit him to air material produced through unauthorized taping, but he stressed that he would send a copy to Greece's Minister of Justice and the parliamentary speaker, so the latter could inform political leaders.

So let us recap what has been alleged so far:

- The "suspect" worked as a consultant for Kammenos on economic issues. The man had also worked as consultant at Deutsche Bank and later on at Piraeus Bank as well.

- Haikalis claims he was offered about 700,000 euros in cash, a loan repayment and advertising contracts, with the alleged bribe total value amounting to more than 2 million euros. Haikalis points out that he informed a prosecutor about two weeks ago and had turned over audio and video material.

- Kammenos says that the so called "suspect" told Haikalis he could arrange an appointment with prime minister Antonis Samaras.

- Haikalis claims that the prosecutor urged him to tape the meeting with the suspect and he only taped two of the meetings because the man never showed up for a third meeting.

- Kammenos threatened that if Greece's Minister of Justice and the parliament speaker do not reveal the man’s name, he is going to do so before the third round of the presidential election.

Even though Kammenos and Haikalis refused to reveal the name of the so called "suspect", the Greek media went on a frenzy and quickly identified him as George Apostolopoulos (pictured above).

As soon as this happened, Apostolopoulos, who is a former banker and aide to Kammenos, went on the attack against Haikalis.

In a statement, which was featured on, Apostolopoulos referred to Haikalis by his primary professions which are an actor and director, while he described Kammenos as a "showman" and even hinted that they may have made up the story.

Nonetheless, a Greek prosecutor was expected to call Apostolopoulos in for questioning to determine whether or not he attempted to bribe Haikalis so that he can secure his vote in the presidential election.

At present, the prosecution is investigating a previous case on attempted bribery of lawmakers.

Going on the defence, the New Democracy party only confirmed that the so called "suspect" was indeed an associate of Kammenos and they noted that the entire case is staged.

They also went a little further and released a couple of pictures of Kammenos in a meeting with members from the main opposition SYRIZA party, in which the man in question is seen sitting next to him.

ND Secretary, Andreas Papamimikos noted that "if the judicial investigation doesn't prove anything "it will reveal that this is a staged provocation."
     "The person accused by Independent Greeks was a close associate of Panos Kammenos and had accompanied him at a meeting with Alexis Tsipras on March 22, 2013 and on his visit to Cyprus on April 1, 2013," Papamimikos said.
     "He's Panos Kammenos' main defence witness in the CDS case. Everyone can now draw their own conclusions," he added. 
At Parliament, the House Ethics Committee decided to give copies of the DVD containing the audiovisual material to party leaders.

From what we read, Samaras has decided not to receive the DVD footage, and instead he decided to send it straight to the Prosecutor as an illegal product.

A few hours later, and while speaking to reporters, ANEL representative Maria Kollia-Tsarouha was asked which other MP was approached and she replied “a woman”. Asked to clarify if it is MP Stavroula Xoulidou, Kollia-Tsarouha replied that it was in fact Elena Kountoura.
     “The middleman insinuated that someone received a bribe”, was Haikalis’ earlier statement during the press conference he held with Kammenos.
When HellasFrappe googled this bit of information we discovered that contacted ANEL MP Elena Kountoura who denied that there was an attempt to bribe her.
     “I spoke with Mrs. Kollia-Tsarouha. Mrs. Kollia-Tsarouha refuses that she said anything like that and is furious. Call her”, said Mrs. Kountoura.
     “I have nothing else to say to you. Nothing is applicable”, she added.
Tsarouha’s statements that the DVD which Kammenos sent to parliament has undergone a montage, has created a stir.

According to her, the DVD contains scenes from the first meeting of Pavlos Haikalis with Apostolopoulos, while the sound is from the second meeting between Haikalis and Apostolopoulos!

(If it looks like a Japanese film then it has undergone montage... but if it doesn't then they are in real trouble for creating such a stir).

New Democracy, the Greek conservative-socialist coalition government's senior partner, has heaped scorn on allegations of bribery that surfaced Friday, accusing the Independent Greeks and main opposition Syriza of "blackmailing" wavering MPs into not voting for President of the Republic.

At New Democracy, spokeswoman Anna Assimakopoulou said that the SYRIZA and ANEL parties are directing a "parody".
     "Plot: A group of plotters are trying to blackmail Greek MPs into not electing a President of the Republic...we reply: you cannot blackmail democracy. Let the Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition understand this. Their effort will fail," Assimakopoulou said.
References in Greek - enikos, protothema

, , ,

PROVOCATION - Greek-Turkish Dogfight Over Aegean

A challenging dogfight accompanied by a dozen or so of violations over the Aegean were performed today by the Turkish Air Force. Specifically six Turkish F-16, two of which were fully loaded, illegally entered Greek air space and challenged the Hellenic Air Force by attempting to cause a virtual showdown (but at the same time also check their readiness).

The dogfight occurred North-West of Lesvos. According to the military news site defencenet, two Greek Mirage 2000-5 that had taken off from the island of Skyros came face to face with two fully armed Turkish F-16s that had taken off from Bali Kesir.

The dogfight began at 20,000 feet and then reached 10,000 feet, lasting only five minutes but our skillful pilots did us proud and the pushed back the Turkish planes towards the Turkish coast, or to the limits of Greece's FIR.

Senior officers of the Hellenic Air Force who monitored the dogfight said that the men who were flying the Mirage 2000-5s from the 331st Squadron had "an easy day today."

Reference in Greek - defencenet

, , ,

AMPHIPOLIS - Geophysical survey reveals further structures at tomb

A geophysical survey was carried out at the Amphipolis tomb and the results are indicating that there are more man-made structures of archaeological importance that have yet to be discovered there. With a series of scanned photographs at hand, the archaeological team can now construct a rudimentary map of the archaeological remains hidden within the hill and this will allow them to prioritize and arrange future excavations there.

The geophysical survey only confirms the rumors that the hill is in fact a complex of various constructions. In fact there are many reporters who are claiming that the whole royal family is buried there (including Alexander the Great).

Meanwhile the ministry slammed "unsubstabtiated reports" on various Greek blogs claiming that the skeleton found in the massive tomb in Amphipolis belongs to the mother of Alexander the Great, Olympias, noting that the official results of the research will be revealed in January.

A blog called, reported several days ago that there's enough evidence to support the theory that the skeleton uncovered in one of the chambers belongs to a 54-year-old woman, Olympias. The report was republished in other blogs and media outlets.

In a press release, the culture ministry said it will reveal the sex, age and height of the perosn burried in the tomb next month.
     "The research for the material found in the fourth chamber of the burial monument on Kasta Hill was assigned to a multidisciplinary team comprised of specialist scientists by the Aristoteleion and Dimokrition Universities. The program aims at a modern approch the the archaeology of death. Starting from the person and its remains found in the tomb, we will explore the anthropoligical, social and historical context of the people of Amphipolis," the ministry said. 
The results of the overall two-year-program are expected to be announced in a period of 20 months.


Guess Who Is Back? - Papandreou Hints At Establishing New Party

Several months ago HellasFrappe published a story claiming that former PASOK leader and ex-Prime Minister George Papandreou was creeping his way back into the political scene. The story, which was based on various reports in the Greek press, noted that he would be modeling this party after the US Democratic party.

(No surprises there since he is a personal friend of the war-mongering Clintons). 

Some characterized our story as a conspiracy but a couple of days ago Papandreou openly hinted (or rather announced) that he was going to create a new political party; and what's more, he even called out to his supporters (at SYRIZA) to become active and begin a self-organizing on a grassroots level.

Papandreou, who has clearly distanced himself from current PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, also dismissed his goal to turn the party into the “third pole” of the political system that would guarantee national stability. He flat out rejects Venizelos’ efforts in developing the Democratic Faction and instead believes in what he says is a “post-clientele Greece,(or) a Greece of values”.

Nice words wouldn't you agree? They somehow sound ridiculous when they are being blurted out by a man who overthrew the last democratically elected Prime Minister Greece ever had (or Costas Karamanlis) with the sole purpose of throwing our country into the arms of the IMF. Every PM since then has been selected by the "establishment".

PASOK, which is obviously paying for its undisputed political sins, is not expected to do well in the next national elections, so everyone in the party now is seeking his or her own personal survival.

In this internal war Papandreou made his intentions clear in his speech in Kozani:
     “All of us who share the same values must take things in our hands. A grassroots movement. We must organize ourselves, network and not expect a solution from the indigenous or outside saviors”.
After many months of bitter sweat comments, leaks and separating himself from his party’s current leadership, it looks like Papandreou has finally cast the dice.

He forgets of course that he has to square off with the people of Greece first and at the present moment there are very few who actually openly support him. There is of course a large portion of former PASOK supporters that went on to SYRIZA (or as we all call them the 'bad PASOK'), but will Papandreou win them back?

It is highly unlikely, but he will certainly slash SYRIZA's numbers. (Some reports are claiming that it may be in the area of 5-6 percent).

But before he can do anything, Papandreou has an obligation to everyone who supported him with the government of the country and he most certainly has to admit and recognize his own serious responsibilities for today’s political and economic situation.

He is not blameless, as he likes to believe and he has no right to constantly pin the responsibility for the decay of the once-mighty PASOK on his successor. Papandreou's choices and tactics were a major contribution to PASOK’s erosion as well as the total dismantling of Greece.

Papandreou may carry a historic name, but he forgets that leaders are judged by their actions and politics.

Editor's Note: We do not know who is worse (Papandreou or Venizelos), in our opinion they are one in the same. The only difference is that one clearly works in favor of US interests while the other uses his fat tongue to slurp around the leaders in Brussels. Papandreou's supporters -or the 'bad PASOK' is presently "parked" at SYRIZA since this party was only at 3% two elections ago. So could Papandreou's move to establish a new party actually be in the program? Obviously Venizelos and Papandreou are not the best of friends, but in the long-term his move might actually help the conservatives rid themselves of the Simitis block -which is clearly represented from Venizelos- once and for all. Let us not forget that the Simitis clan was the most corrupt government to have ever ruled this country and most of the economic woes that Greece is facing today are a result of Costas Simitis' term in government. Papandreou and Simitis have never been on the best of terms, but GAP would never undermine the party that was created by his own father. So what are the real reasons behind his move? We are guessing that the first reason is about POWER. The Papandreou family believes that it deserves to rule - much like monarchies do. Three generations of Papandreous in power proves this theory in a flash, Secondly PASOK owes a lot of money to the banks so if Papandreou creates a new party it can market it as somehting new and fresh.  -Basically it will not have skeletons in its closet like PASOK does which obligates Papandreou to acknowledge his political responsibilities for Greece's present economic state, it will attempt to step away from PASOK's unprecendeted poltical and economic scandals and best of all it will not owe one penny to the banks- Can Papandreou's move actually benefit the present government? It just might, after all it is presently trailing behind SYRIZA by 3.6 percent -in the latest opinion polls- and from what we learn Papandreou could slice off at least 5-6 percent from SYRIZA if he formed the party before the next general elections. This would indeed benefit the conservatives, but this will also mean that Papandreou will be back in the political scene! There is a downfall to all of this as well. If you check the recent opinion polls then you will see that PASOK might not even make it into the next Parliament because it is already barely at 3 percent. If Papandreou forms his party then many PASOK-ers will also defect to his party and leave Mr. submarine scandal Venizelos with less than 3 percent and a bankrupted PASOK. This should concern the conservatives since the Simitis clan will then seek refuge in the conservative party. If this happens, get ready for a roller coaster ride between Samaras supporters and Karamallikoi (supporters of Costas Karamanlis). - They are already at the edge of war as it is-. Why should we care? Well we the people will get stuck with their bank debts and this is definitely something that should concern all of us. The only thing that we are convinced about is that Papandreou's move is not being done out of patriotism to Greece because this man has proven time and time again that he does not have Greece's interests at heart. With the issue of the EEZ at hand and with Greece intent of shedding itself of the resource sucking IMF we can only conclude that there are a lot of interests at stake and the "establishment" has once again sent in their man to do the job!  Stay tuned.

, , , ,

Action priorities for 2015, according to the Council on Foreign Relations

The Center for Preventive Action of the Council on Foreign Relations has released its survey of action priorities for 2015. 2200 Washington personalities responded to a questionnaire which, rather than outlining a forecast for the coming year, establishes a hierarchy of concerns.

According to this document, Washington is primarily concerned with the following issues:

  1. Intensification of the war in Iraq because of the Islamic State and tensions between Shiites and Sunnis.
  2. A deadly massive attack on the U.S. or its allies.
  3. An extremely disruptive computer attack against the United States.
  4. A severe North Korean crisis caused by military provocation, internal instability or a nuclear threat.
  5. A new threat of Israeli bombings against Iran following the breakdown of negotiations with Washington.
  6. An armed confrontation between China and its neighbors over disputed territories in the South China Sea.
  7. Deepening of the civil war in Syria due to foreign intervention.
  8. Surge of the violence and instability in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops and the strengthening of the Taliban.

According to the authors of the report, this list does not take future conflicts into account, but those in which the United States is likely to intervene, diplomatically or militarily.



OPINION - The govt's hope for a deus ex machina at the 11th hour

The bailout agreement could just swallow up a third government in succession as Greece’s lenders are refusing to grant Prime Minister Antonis Samaras the concessions he needs to show the electorate that the worst is behind us. Samaras has gambled on early presidential elections and is hoping the Europeans are going to come to the rescue. What happens next? The following report was published on Pressprioject.

By Vasiliki Siouti (PressProject) - Was Antonis Samaras trapped?  The pervading assumption is that, given the way things have turned out, bringing forward the date of the presidential election was a one-way course of action.

At this juncture, the government does not have the clout to implement the harsh measures demanded by the troika because doing so would be tantamount to political suicide ahead of looming elections.  

The conditions (or alibi) set by many of the lawmakers to vote for the government’s presidential nominee are that it either strikes a deal on the country’s debt or that it gets on a path leading to an exit from Greece’s bailout programme. Otherwise they would not be able to justify their vote for the coalition’s nominee as it would appear they were endorsing the continuation of a policy they had disagreed with.

Up until early fall, Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos, the government’s deputy PM, were reassuring in their statements that they would meet these demands, assuming they would get at least a promise from the country’s lenders which they could then present as a solution. This is what once more triggered the talk of Greece’s exit from the bailout agreement.

Initially, the country’s lenders showed understanding to what they believed were Greek antics, but it wasn’t long before this collected approach gave way to outright annoyance at what they believed was the deliberate cultivation of the wrong expectations to the Greek electorate.  

The representatives of the German government do not hide the fact that they still consider Greece a ‘special case’ that should be governed under its whip, otherwise it will stray off the course which they believe is the right one. This is why they demand from Greek politicians to tell the Greek people that they have to endure more sacrifices and not to promise them an exit from the bailout agreements. Besides, the prospect of a bailout agreement exit is not something the Germans had ever acquiesced to.

Nonetheless, in spite of of the fact that the prime minister blasts unilateralism when it comes to Syriza, he not only proceeded unilaterally, albeit verbally, to decide Greece’s exit from the bailout but he also fell flat on his face.

The first backlash was in Berlin when Mr Samaras visited Angela Merkel and was unable to extract the slightest concession -- and subsequently returned empty handed. This was followed by him begging lenders to make some some sort of concession, claiming that otherwise Syriza would come to power. The lenders remained firm in their stance.

Merkel and Schauble believe that even the slightest concession to Greece - a country ‘undergoing rehabilitation’ - would set a very bad example to the entire eurozone and would threaten to unravel what they had imposed through iron discipline.  

As far as Syriza is concerned, the German government insists it does not intend to move an inch and believes that Germany and everyone else in the eurozone for that matter, are fully fortified against any danger that may arise. They believe that Greece is tied hand and foot and does not possess the capability it had in 2010 to press the red button and blow up the eurozone. (However, there are German analysts that are on a different page from the one represented by the government in Berlin is and are warning against complacency.)

The German leadership appears certain that a possible Syriza government would be forced to comply or else they will see Greece out of the monetary union; an eventuality they have already prepared for, while Greece, so they believe, has not. An exit without preparation  could easily turn into a disaster in the absence of a determined and prepared leadership at the helm.

Did Schauble know of  Samaras’ decision?

Did the Germans know that Samaras and Venizelos were planning to announce an earlier date for the presidential election as Schauble has implied, or, to be more precise, some had interpreted that he implied?

Not exactly, according to our information. Antonis Samaras had messaged the German government - in the bid to persuade it - that if it did not give something, he would be forced to bring forward the date of the election - otherwise he would become a hostage and his party would vanish.

The German government did not exactly agree. It made clear however that it would not back down and told him to do whatever he saw fit.

On closer inspection, Schauble’s remarks were quite ambiguous, because on the one hand he praised Samaras (not without a hint of sarcasm)  and, on the other, he drew comparisons with George Papandreou.

Sources say Schauble and Merkel were probably annoyed with Samaras yet they remain unfazed over the election’s outcome.  

Last Monday, the PM sprang a surprise in the belief his move would allow him to take control of the situation and force the desired result. However, bringing forward the presidential election date entails a huge risk, which could lead to the government’s fall. Everything is open, for now.

How a defeat was presented as a victory

Up until a fortnight ago. the government was begging the country’s lenders to back the claim about Greece’s exit from the bailout. This would have been presented on the domestic front as a victory and would have served as the pretext for the MPs that wanted to vote for coalition’s presidential candidate.

During the talks between Samaras’ envoys with MPs in the bid to muster the 180 votes needed in parliament to elect the president, many of them said they needed a political justification. To show that harsh austerity has come to an end and that they are not giving the kiss of life to these policies which they supposedly disagree with.

Antonis Samaras and Vangelis Venizelos were, up until last month, fighting to avoid an extension of the bailout memorandum. They were claiming that if they can convince lenders that an extension of the agreement was not necessary and that only only a precautionary credit line would suffice, they would present that as a government success - especially if they could secure another concession, even a symbolic one, about the debt.

But the lenders were not moved and the government was forced to ask for a two-month extension of the memorandum which it did not want.

The MPs did not secure the pretext they were asking from the government so they could vote for its nominee. They got a bailout agreement extension instead.

So after all this, Samaras decided to blackmail MPs for their votes. His message was somewhat like this: If you want to keep your parliamentary seats you have no other choice but to back me or else you will fall with me. Everyone knows that if national elections are held many MPs will lose their seats, which they will probably never win back.

Associates of the PM remained optimistic in recent days because, they believe, MPs will look out for their own interest as ‘Syriza cannot secure a seat for all of them. So they have no reason to go along with them as they will lose everything’”.

Furthermore, Venizelos was concerned about the stance of MPs that are affiliated to former Pasok leader and PM George Papandreou and the rumours that he is planning to launch a new party which some polls suggesting he would get between 4-4.5%. He informed Samaras that they should move preemptively before Papandreou could damage them.  

Samaras’ associates continue to say they are optimistic that they can get the 180 votes he needs, if the government can get something from the Europeans, even in the 11th hour. But it’s probably too late for that.


Marine Le Pen Comments on Greek presidential elections

In a statement published on the official website of France's National Front (FN), party leader Marine Le Pen slammed the European Commission, accusing it "of entering a new phase in its deviation toward authoritarianism". She notes that "for the first time in its history it made suggestions" concerning the presidential election in Greece.

In the statement, titled: "Presidential election in Greece: European authoritarianism reveals its true face," she underlined that:
     "The Commission's support to Stavros Dimas, who is a former Commissioner and official candidate of the Greek government and the financial markets, comes as no surprise. The goal is to rule out any chance for a change or substantive discussion on how well-founded the European austerity policies are." 


Gov't Support for Zagorochoria To Make It On UNESCO World Heritage list

An announcement from the Greek culture ministry said on Thursday that the government intends to officially sponsor the traditional villages of Epirus' Zagori district in northwestern Greece as a Greek 'cultural landscape' to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The 'Zagorochoria - North Pindos National Park' area have been on the UNESCO Tentative List for the last two years, which is one of the conditions for inclusion in the list of World Heritage Sites.
     "It is with great joy that the culture and sports ministry announces its decision to finalise its proposal for the inclusion of Zagori in the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments List," said Culture and Sports Minister Costas Tassoulas at a conference held at the culture ministry on Thursday, attended by ministry general secretary Lina Mendoni and Zagori Mayor Vassilis Spyrou.
The traditional stone built villages of the remote and mountainous Zagori area are among the best preserved traditional settlements in Greece and situated in an area of exceptional natural beauty, including features such as the Vikos Gorge and Voidomatis River.

In order for an cultural landscape to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, it must have proven exceptional global value and its authenticity and integrity must be protected. There must be a comparative study comparing the site with others, both included and not included in the UNESCO list, a definitive boundary and protection zone, a written management plan and guarantees for its effective implementation. It also calls for a record of factors likely to affect the cultural good, either positively or negatively, and measures to protect the monument in emergency situations.



Chinese to develop rapid railway to connect Greece to central Europe

During a two-day visit to Serbia earlier this week, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said earlier this week that China is going to participate in the upgrade of the entire railway network linking Greece to central Europe. At a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic after their meeting, Li was quoted by the ANA-MPA state news agency as saying that the construction of the railway network from Belgrade to Budapest constitutes the first section of a rapid rail network that will extend all the way to Greece.
     "At the Belgrade summit, we signed an agreement for the implementation of the project to reconstruct the railway network to Budapest, where trains will travel with 200 klm per hour and now this project is being expanded with the participation of FYROM and Greece," Li said.
     "The Greek railways and the port of Piraeus will also form part of the rapid maritime and land route connecting China to Europe," he added.
The Chinese shipping giant Cosco has a 35-year concession to expand two container terminals at Piraeus.
     "This railway line will be a major logistics route to and from China and will enhance its relations with the European Union, while helping in the development of the regions from where it will pass," he added.
The Chinese prime minister said he will soon start procedures for the planning of the project with all interested parties and will look for ways to fund it, while adding his country is willing to participate with capital.

It should be reminded that several months ago HellasFrappe featured several reports on this, one of which was from our very own contributors. For more click HERE and HERE 

, ,

Haikalis: "I was offered €2-3 million to vote for president"

Independent Greeks (ANEL) MP Pavlos Haikalis claimed on a television show on Friday morning that he too was offered 2 to 3 million Euros in order to vote in favour of the government’s presidential nominee, Stavros Dimas. However, prosecutors say they cannot in any way confirm his claim since they have already conducted an extensive investigation and have not discovered any evidence that would support this claim.

More precisely, Haikalis alleged that an attempt was made to bribe him in the Presidential elections, on a Friday morning appearance on ANT1, following comments made by comedian Lakis Lazopoulos.

Haikalis said that at first he was to be given 700,000 euros in cash, later an outstanding loan of his would be paid off and finally he would sign contracts with certain production companies.

The comedian turned MP said that he has handed over video and audio evidence from two meetings he had with the person that attempted to bribe him and that he has already filed a deposition. However, he did not reveal the identity of the person, which kind of makes his accusation a bit ridiculous.

It should be noted that comedian Lakis Lazopoulos -who openly supports SYRIZA- had previously reported that the man who attempted to bribe Haikalis was a businessman, but did not name him.
This too can be described as an attempt to sling some mud somewhere with the hope that it would eventually stick. The bottom line is, are the accusations true or not?

Apparently they aren't!

After the news became public To Vima contacted the prosecution, which confirmed that Haikalis submitted audio and video footage ten days ago, but they could not in any way confirm his accusations.

Following the news, the spokesman for SYRIZA Panos Skourletis told ANT1 that the prosecution must inform the political leaders of these developments immediately, as the allegations may well influence the outcome of the ongoing Presidential election process.

SYRIZA, which obviously is suffering from Stockholm syndrome, forgets that the Greek justice system has found all these accusations to be totally groundless.

Asked to comment, government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi said on ANT1 that in the name of public interest the evidence must be made public immediately and if they prove to be baseless, the relevant legal procedures must be initiated against the "culprits of this vile story".

She is right.


Asclepius' Healing Sanctuary To Receive Much Needed Facelift

A project designed to give a much needed face-lift to the ancient sanctuary of the healer god Asclepius in Epidaurus (in the Peloponnese) was approved and will be funded by 2014-2020 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds.

According to Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, the budget for the project amounts to 5,650,000 euros and is going to be provided under the business program "Infrastructure of Transport, Environment and Sustainable Development."

The works are expected to highlight the landscape of the great sanctuary of one of ancient Greece's legendary doctor gods and it is even going to include a garden with healing and native plants. Parallel to this it is going to also include paths for visitors, and the parking area around the sanctuary will also be beefed up. Other works include an information kiosk promoting local Greek agricultural products and from what we hear even digital tours will be offered.

Moreover, a separate building is going to be raised to showcase the history of medicine, and will also be used for events such as congresses, and meetings.

The sanctuary of Asclepius also includes a temple to Asclepius, a stadium and baths, as well as several other large buildings.

Second Ruling Against Grant For Refurbishing of Panathinaikos stadium

For a second time, the Greek Court of Audits ruled against a grant of 7.0-million euros for the refurbishment of the Panathinaikos FC stadium in Central Athens, calling it illegal. The grant was apparently approved by the previous Attica Region authority under Giannis Sgouros (hand selected by the previous George Papandreou government). After examining the contract, the court agreed with the previous ruling which had found it was contrary to the public interest and violated the principle of cost-efficiency.

December 17, 2014

Greek Presidential Election Begins Within A Polarized Climate

UPDATE 21:00: - The Greek Parliament failed to elect a new President of the Republic in the first vote. Stavros Dimas, the sole candidate, put forward by the governing conservative/socialist coalition, received only 160 votes, far from the two-thirds majority (200 in the 300-member Parliament) required by the Greek Constittution. About 135 MPs voted "present" and there were 5 absences. The next voting round which also requires two-thirds of the vote is scheduled to take place on Tuesday December 23rd.

The moment of truth for Greek lawmakers is finally here. The first vote in the critical Presidential election is scheduled to begin at 7pm on Wednesday night in the Greek Parliament. The voting process is going to act as a test for the coalition government of Antonis Samaras since it could indicate how the next two votes may turn out and certainly it is expected to be carried out within a profoundly polarized climate.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office on Wednesday issued the following statement ahead of the first voting for the election of a President of the Republic:
     "Tonight, the first voting for the election of a President of the Republic will be carried out. During that voting procedure, positive votes are not considered a vote in favour of the government; but a decision to defend the Constitution and respect the institution of the President of the Republic, as well as an avoidance of a political adventure that could be fatal for the country's European course."
Referring to the first round of the presidential elections, SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis on Wednesday said:
     "I believe that during the voting procedure it will be confirmed that we are far away from the 180 deputies and there will be no signs that these votes will be gathered in the next rounds. I estimate that the government will not find the 180 votes even if the candidate changes."
Over the last few days, the coalition government has attempted to deescalate its clash with the opposition, but some are fearing that this was to no avail. Even though the government appears confident in securing the required 180 MP votes for the third vote on December 29th, recent developments are suggesting otherwise.

In the first vote, Stavros Dimas (the government-sponsored Presidential candidate) is expected to receive around 163-165 votes. Apart from the 155 votes from the New Democracy and PASOK MPs, the coalition government is expecting support from independent MPs Spyros Lykoudis, Grigoris Psarianos, Christos Aidonis, Katerina Markou, Panagiotis Melas and George Davris.

Reports are claiming that there is still a significant amount of MPs that are undecided about whether or not to vote for Dimas.

Meanwhile, New Democracy MPs such as Panos Panagiotopoulos and Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos argue that the Presidential election process would be greatly facilitated if an agreement is made for general elections in the next few months, as they claim to have come to an agreement on the public debt and constitutional reform.

Golden Dawn is also expected to take part in the vote. In fact a Greek prosecutor on Tuesday granted seven detained extreme-right Golden Dawn party members permission to attend and vote in the three rounds of the presidential election. It is going to be the first time that GD will participate in a parliamentary process, apart from their appearance last week in a debate concerning the lifting of their parliamentary immunity so that they could be prosecuted.

Party leader and MP Nikos Michaloliakos, as well as Christos Pappas, Giannis Lagos, George Germenis, Panayiotis Iliopoulos, Nikos Kouzilos and party spokesman Elias Kassidiaris are going to be escorted from the Korydallos Prison to Parliament for all three days of the voting.

(Combined Reports)


Kammenos says Greeks of Jewish faith do not pay taxes - Jewish community enraged!

During an interview with Greek Antenna television channel on Monday, the leader of the Independent Greeks party (ANEL) Panos Kammenos claimed that people of Jewish faith in Greece do not pay any taxes. As expected the statement enraged the Greek Jewish community.

Jewish communal leaders immediately reacted and called on Kammenos to officially apologize for his "serious anti-Semitic" statement.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said it categorically refutes the accusation, noting that Jewish institutions in the country had the same tax regulations as Christian ones.
     "It is a disgrace that a leader of a party in Parliament does not know that Greek Jews are equal citizens and subject to the all the rights and obligations of every citizen," the statement read.
     "Our representative bodies, which are public legal entities, are governed by the exact same tax obligations as the Church of Greece and without receiving any subsidy from the Greek state," the statement added.
Commenting on an article by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras published in a Greek daily, in which he called on ANEL’s MPs to vote in favour of the presidential candidate, Stavros Dimas, Kammenos said this is impossible because Samaras’ government has voted laws that are "against the Orthodox Church."
     "We see that Orthodoxy, which Mr Samaras cites in his article, his government took most of the decisions that are against the Church of Greece; cremation, civil partnerships for homosexuals, taxation just for the Orthodox religion. Buddhists, Jews, Muslims are not taxed, the Orthodox Church is taxed and in fact is at risk of losing its monastery assets," Kammenos said.
Source: ANT1 TV, Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece,


Investigation Into Concession Of Elliniko Development Project

The controversial concession of the former airport site at Elliniko (in Southern Athens) to the Lamda Development joint venture is under apparently under investigation, as numerous allegations have suggested that TAIPED officers may be guilty of misconduct.

A recent report in To Vima claims that so far the prosecutor has summoned SYRIZA MP Sofia Sakorafa and local government official Nikos Galanos to testify on the matter, with more scheduled to be called in the weeks ahead. The Deputy Governor of the District of Attica Christos Kapatais told To Vima that “for us this concession does not exist”.

It should be reminded that a few months ago the Technical Chamber of Greece published a study, according to which the true value of the Elliniko site was “at least” 2.5 billion euros, however it was acquired by the joint venture for just 914 million euros, which will be paid off in 15 years.

The prosecutor, says the relevant report, is expected to focus his examination on the liability of public officials.

Galanos had previously filed a complaint, arguing that a series of omissions and actions in the tender may have nullified the competition, resulting in huge losses for the State.

, ,

Turkish gov't arrests media chiefs in latest assault on free speech

Ekrem Dumannli, the chief editor of Zaman, Turkey’s biggest selling newspaper, cried "we are not scared" after he and other journalists were detained by police over terrorism allegations. The following article is an analysis of the recent arrests of many media agents in Turkey from the Erdogan government who it claims work on behalf of his rival Gulen. The article is from James Smart at the PressProject. To get a better understanding of the rift between Gulen and Erdogan HellasFrappe suggests that you also read the background to this story by clicking HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

By James Smart (Press-Project) - It must have been quite a memorable Sunday afternoon for the locals. Four Turkish police officers briskly walked through the security gates at the offices of Zaman - Turkey's biggest selling newspaper, situated in the working-class suburb of Şirinevler, with a helicopter flying overhead and water cannon vehicles behind.

Surrounding them were 3-4000 protesters - some loyal Zaman readers, others there to defend the free press, who themselves had been tipped off and were also in present in large numbers.
     "Free media cannot be silenced" the crowd chanted as the police walked through the door, not stopping until shortly later when they came back out escorting the newspaper's Chief Editor Ekrem Dumanlı, having failed to breach the crowd at 7.15 that morning. Let those who have committed a crime be scared," Mr Dumanli said as he was ushered away with the police. 'we are not scared'.
     “The detentions have been ordered in order to take their testimonies on charges of founding and directing an armed terror organization, being a member of this organization, and engaging in forgery and slander,” said a statement released by the Istanbul Chief Prosecuters office later that day.
But the protesters believe this is merely another purge on the ever-shrinking media that is prepared to criticise the government.

Dumanli wasn't the only target. Around thirty-one people were detained, mostly other media chiefs, a TV scriptwriter, a TV show director, and a handful of former police chiefs who are suspected if having links to Hizmet, an organisation in confrontation with the AKP government.

Briefly, Hizmet is a popular and somewhat secretive movement founded by Fetullah Gulen, an elderly preacher in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Gulen preaches a brand of Islam that many Turks find agreeable, emphasising use of modern technology, moderation, interfaith dialogue, and promoting Turkishness.

The foundation operates schools and universities in over 140 countries and has other investments in health clinics, finance and media - including publications such as Zaman.

For ten years, Gulen's movement colluded with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP government, proving particularly useful on the campaign trail. Gulen and Erdogan shared the same enemies and it seems that Gulenists in the police and judiciary may have assisted the AKP government by finding ways of putting political foes behind bars.

While the current government used to be happy enough to see their political enemies framed, they are now charging Gulenists in the police and judiciary with fabricating evidence. To understand the reason for this reversal, we need to explore the fading relationship between Gulen and Erdoğan.

From mid-2010, relations deteriorated between the Hizmet movement and the AKP to the extent that the AKP closed down part of the Hizmet operation in Turkey, and continues to work on this.

On their part, Gulenists were able to use their positions in the police and intelligence services to uncover and publicise a series of recordings that showed Erdoğan, his son, and his cabinet knee-deep in corruption. Four ministers were forced to resign, but the government emerged somewhat discredited but largely unscathed. Since then, Gulen has been accused of running a parallel state.
     "I want my dear nation to know that we are not just faced with a simple network, but one which is a pawn of national and international evil forces," said Erdoğan on Friday.
     "We have gone into their lairs, and we will go into them again.”
     “Whoever is beside them and behind them, we will bring down this network and bring it to account".
So, the tables have turned, and Gulenists are now the terrorists.

Is this a simple case then of a feud spiralling out of control?

Ozgur Kuçuk is a journalist for Zaman newspapers. "make no mistake" he says. "these arrests are nothing to do with animosity between Gulen and Erdogan per se. Erdoğan goes after anybody who criticises him publically. He goes after journalists who criticise him, and has them sent to jail".

With an estimated forty journalists currently languishing behind bars, Turkey is the world's biggest jailer of journalists. According to Reporters without Borders, Turkey lies 154th out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom. To avoid jail, most media outlets self-censor, disciplining and firing media workers who are critical of the government.

To avoid these pitfalls, some Turks post anonymously using blogs and fake twitter accounts. Turkey's most celebrated media outlaw is probably 'Fuat Avni', who claims to have close connections to Erdogan's inner circle, and regularly tweets warnings about operations against the public. This account tipped off the public about this Sunday's arrests, with a list of all those due to be arrested, and even the police officers responsible with each arrest, which were originally due to take place with an element of surprise on Friday.

Fuat initially tweeted that around 140 journalists were to be detained, with 400 citizens to be arrested in total. By Sunday, this had been revised. "Operations against mainstream and liberal journalists will not take place - for now".

The timing of these arrests are interesting. A new law was put in place only on Friday making it easier to arrest and detain citizens. And it is almost exactly a year to the day when police - presumably Gulenists - went after Erdoğan and his cabinet with audio evidence of corruption. Then, as now, reaction was fierce and relentless, with prosecutors, police and journalists moved or fired by the thousands.

Furthermore, last December the government had been easily able to placate much of the public by claiming they had been victim of a 'montage' - claiming that the recordings had been faked, as part of a campaign of dirty tricks. And this government is no stranger to dirty tricks.

During the Gezi Park protests in the summer of 2013, undercover police acting as agent provocateurs quite clearly threw a series of molotov cocktails at police water cannons, which in turn fired unusually inaccurate water cannon back near the provocateurs.

It was only because the campaign was conducted in such an amateurish manner that it was clearly not the actions of real protesters but of a police force needing an excuse to continue their heavy-handed campaign. Özgur Kuçuk thinks that further stunts may continue.
     "I predict" continues Kuçuk, "undercover intelligence officers will try to gain access to journalists, to pose as Gulenists and elicit responses that will act as evidence against them in court".
Ostensible, the Hizmet movement is being accused of fabricating evidence to put their rivals in jail. However, Erdoğan's attitude towards the media over the past few years leads many to suspect that this is another excuse to keep a critical media ever more silent.
     "Once again, President Erdoğan has shown he will embrace extreme measures to silence dissident voices. He believes in a compliant press, not a free press," said CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) spokesperson Simon Rowe on Sunday.
Criticism of the government's position continues to come under fire from all corners. The lira slumped today as nervous investors pulled out their money.

Emma Sinclair-Webb, a senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch, echoes Rowe's concerns.“The detention of journalists and editors in the context of this latest wider operation of arrests looks like another attempt to crack down on critical media,” she said.

The EU also chimed in: "The police raids and arrests of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey today are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a joint statement.

Anybody who observes Erdoğan though, knows he can always be relied on to fight fire with fire.
      "The EU should mind its own business and keep its own opinions to itself," he declared. 
Turkey's President cares little for what outsiders have to say, at least publically. He may occasionally back down, but very quietly. Openly, he battles hard and nonstop. His supporters enjoy this streetfighter image, and tend to believe his various accusations of foreign plots. The opposition remain weak, largely because there isn't much historical evidence that they would behave any better if they were in power. Meanwhile the economy is weakening but on a visible level the country continues to modernise on many levels. Erdoğan still seems invincible.

He continues "We gave a promise to Ekrem (Dumanlı) - taking away editors will change nothing. We will print this paper even better. You can detain as many people as you want. Nothing will change here".

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso and its partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. The project's page: Safety Net for European Journalists. A Transnational Support Network for Media Freedom in Italy and South-east Europe

, , , , , ,

ISIS’ Bloody Footprints Lead From NATO Territory - Says Germany's Deutsche Welle

It was reported recently that Germany’s broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) investigated what turned out to be hundreds of trucks a day carrying billions in supplies,  flowing into Syria and directly into the hands of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS). According to an exclusive and revealing report from geopolitical expert Tony Cartalucci at NEO,  Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has played a pivotal role in this since it has allowed its territory to be used as a transit route for several years now with the aim of Syria's total destruction and destabilization. 

Tony Cartalucci (NEO) -  Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has played a pivotal role in the destabilization and destruction of neighboring Syria. Since 2011, Turkey has allowed its territory to be used as a transit and staging point for sectarian terrorists flowing from around the world and into Syria in what could be described as a defacto NATO invasion by proxy.

In 2011, after the Libyan conflict drew to an end in favor of NATO, terrorists it had armed and provided air cover for in North Africa were promptly shipped to Turkey where they then slipped into Syria to engage the Syrian government and its military. Since then, an untold number of terrorists have used not only Turkey as a staging ground, but also Lebanon and Jordan.

In addition to literal terrorists being harbored in NATO territory, security agencies of NATO members including the US and UK, have been active along the Turkish-Syrian border arming, funding. and equipping what they call “moderate rebels.” These moderate rebels have recently been revealed as affiliates of or organized directly organized beneath both Al Qaeda and ISIS.

DW’s report does not implicate merely Turkey in aiding and abetting ISIS, but exposes the fact that ISIS’ supply lines lead from within NATO itself – in other words, ISIS is a creation, perpetuation, and agent of NATO.

Contrary to Western propaganda, Al Qaeda was intentionally organized and directed by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to engage in a regional confrontation aimed at Iran and its powerful arc of influence. Exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article,  “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):
    To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. 
Clearly, ISIS is the verbatim fulfillment of Hersh’s 2007 warning.

And while some may question what took place between 2007 and the current disposition of ISIS today, those documenting the ongoing conflict in Syria starting in 2011 have noted substantial and continued state sponsorship of militants fighting in the Syrian conflict, many of which are now confirmed to be operating under the banner of ISIS.

Headlines over the past 3-4 years including, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” “First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA ‘on way to battlefield’,” “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” and “Official says CIA-funded weapons have begun to reach Syrian rebels; rebels deny receipt,” reveal ongoing Western support, bridging the gap between the conspiracy exposed by Hersh in 2007 and the current torrent of supplies flowing to ISIS via NATO territory.

It is clear that the ISIS threat was NATO all along, the culmination of a conspiracy spanning at least two US Presidential administrations, and resulting in a regional conflict marked by some of the most horrific barbarism documented in modern history.

With NATO feeding the ISIS threat directly, no serious attempt to destroy ISIS in either Syria or Iraq can be attempted without first cutting its supply lines leading from NATO territory. Clearly the United States, NATO, or regional partners like Israel, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia have any intention of doing so. As indicated by DW’s report, Kurds operating on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian border are attempting to seal off the flow of supplies leading from NATO territory.

The Syrian Arab Army, the Iranian forces supporting anti-ISIS fighters in Syrian territory, and the allies of both countries must insist that strict resolutions are passed to secure the border and stem the flow of ISIS’ lifeline. A clearly worded resolution, if voted down by the likes of the US and its NATO accomplices, will expose further the true nature ISIS and the misanthropic agenda of the West it is a manifestation of.

If the West capitulates and the resolution is passed, further steps toward arming and aiding the Syrian and Iranian governments and their various allies in the securing of the Turkish-Syrian border can be made. From there, the proxy war engineered and executed by the West which has engulfed the region for years, may finally be brought to an end.

The author, Tony Cartalucci, is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

If you enjoy HellasFrappe please help us continue maintaining the free flow of information. We need donations to continue operating, now more than ever. HellasFrappe is dedicated to bringing you up-to-date information on matters that concern Greece and the wider region. Our pursuit of truthful information is a constant and evolving journey. No amount is too small, or too big, it all counts.
The articles posted on HellasFrappe are for entertainment and education purposes only. The views expressed here are solely those of the contributing author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HellasFrappe. Our blog believes in free speech and does not warrant the content on this site. You use the information at your own risk.


Google+ Badge

Google+ Followers

Popular Posts

Exchange Banners With Us

Exchange Banners With Us
For the latest news in Greek, check out this site, which is one of our primary sources for news

Exchange banners with us


Creative Commons License
Hellasfrappe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Powered by Blogger.