November 21, 2014

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ANALYSIS - Did Cyprus΄ dream to become a major gas provider go up in smoke?

The regional conflict involving Cyprus, Turkey and Greece over energy reserves discovered in Cyprus΄ proximity in 2011 has escalated. After a number of recent failures in the international arena, the Turkish government may feel that it needs a victory in the Eastern Mediterranean at all costs. The following dilemma has given way to a great analysis on the situation by the PressProject. HellasFrappe decided to republish the article so that our readers can obtain a better understanding of what stakes are at play. We just want to point out that the views and opinions that are posted in this article do not necessarily agree and/or disagree with our own.

The story is fairly well-trodden now. Back in October 20, a research vessel, accompanied by two navy ships, was sent out from Turkey to do seismic testing within Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an abuse of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, and an intimidation that led to Cyprus immediately calling off the ongoing peace talks between Cyprus and the self-declared TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) in northern Cyprus.

With a Turkish navy ship also observing the deep-sea drilling of gas deposits from eight kilometers away, we are seeing an escalation of a conflict that began when large gas deposits were discovered in Cyprus' proximity in 2011.
     "The least I can say is that negotiations, in order to produce results, cannot be conducted under such conditions of provocation," said Ioannis Kasoulides, the Cypriot foreign minister.
From Cyprus's perspective, a peace process cannot be undertaken in the context of such provocation. Turkey is acting illegally against a former foe to strongarm its way to natural gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean that lie under Cypriot sea. But is there more to this dispute than meets the eye?

Undersea gas deposits should - and still could - transform Cyprus's economy, which has suffered greatly since 2011. An estimated 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas was thought to be discovered in one offshore field within Cyprus's EEZ three years ago; the Cypriot government subsequently licensed U.S. energy firm Noble, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total to turn the discovery into an economic reality.

Added to that the likelihood of Cyprus becoming a gas hub, with new-found Israeli gas also running through it to reach European markets, while being surrounded by energy consumers eager to wean themselves off Russian gas dependency, it is easy to see how Cypriots saw undersea gas as a panacea to their economic strife.

It seems that neighbours Turkey and the TRNC had other ideas. In the eyes of Turkey, Cyprus is an illegitimate country, as the TRNC is to the rest of the world. Pro-government newspapers this week have been discussing the fact that Cyprus's EEZ was always disputed by Turkey, and the last maritime agreement that both countries agreed to was in 1960, in which much of the gas fields are within Turkey's range. Ergo, Turkey has a claim on the gas - and is willing to settle for some sort of share of the proceeds being given to the northern part of the island.

The problem facing Ankara here is that regardless of what it believes, the rest of the world failed to sufficiently sympathise with the Turkish invasion and does not recognise TRNC. Furthermore, Turkey has failed to receive any hint of EU or American backing, and is running out of friends - as its recent failure to join the UN Security Council as a temporary member illustrates. "The United States respects the Republic of Cyprus' sovereignty and right to develop resources in its exclusive economic zone, in keeping with customary international law,” chided Joe Biden via an official statement earlier this month.

While Cyprus is focusing on trying to extract natural resources, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's current foreign policy seems to involve making as many enemies in the region as possible, alienating Kurds, Shias, and Israel; and governments opposing the Muslim Brotherhood; meanwhile traditional foes such as Greece and Armenia persist in the background. Lukewarm efforts against the Islamic State have angered many governments worldwide. So with Turkey's reputation at rock-bottom, is it more than just coincidence that Cyprus chose this moment to provoke the old adversary?

From Cyprus's perspective the timing is understandable. A country in economic dire straits has a now-or-never moment to plunder its lucrative natural resources, while its neighbour is too busy fighting other battles and trying to restore its flagging reputation.

To raise the stakes, Cyprus has threatened to veto any further Turkish EU-joining procedures. Meanwhile Israel and Egypt eagerly joined the dispute. Egypt, which has got on well with Cyprus ever since the days of Nasser, is irritated by Erdogan's pro-Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric, and are in need of a local gas imports as well as EU-member allies. Meanwhile Israel and Turkey have been carping at each other for the past four years; Israel badly needs this disagreement settled so it can start drilling for gas and sending it across to Cyprus. Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Greece have held  several meetings this month. But how far will these countries allow the crisis to escalate?

Many countries would fold under the such international pressure. To place Turkey in this category however would be to underestimate the belligerence of Erdogan when under pressure. When criticised, his instinct is usually to double-down, particularly with an election drawing close. His parliamentary majority is very safe and most of the media are afraid to criticize his policies. His strong position, domestically, gives him flexibility in how he deals with this crisis; the Turkish navy has been strengthened a great deal this year; Erdogan's supporters seem to appreciate his tough rhetoric that now incorporates Israel and Egypt as well as Cyprus.

After a number of failures in the international arena lately the Turkish government may feel that it needs a victory in the Eastern Mediterranean at all costs. So how far could this go? It is worth considering what might constitute a 'victory'. Earlier this month the TRNC's foreign minister, Özdil Nami, was invited to Israel for a major energy conference, suggesting that at least Israel can envisage a positive outcome involving both sides of the island.

Would some compensation for the TRNC be a fair outcome? Whatever one may feel about the rights and wrongs of the northern occupation, one might suggest that treating one group more favorably than the other holds moral implications. Furthermore, Cyprus would benefit from a settlement in the sense that under the current economic climate, any capital inflows are welcome. With this in mind, the current bout of sabre-rattling between the two states could well be an elaborate bluff, designed to make the financial settlement for either side be as favorable as possible.

The outcome may depend upon whether Erdogan sees the vested interests in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of a zero-sum game or not. Turkey may not enjoy watching its neighbours get stronger for geopolitical reasons, but on the other hand, it, too, can benefit from having more diverse resources. A potentially alternative source of natural gas to Russia should always be welcome - as Erdogan clearly seems to think, judging by his trip to Turkmenistan last week, where gas contracts have been signed.

Turkey should be able to benefit economically from having more prosperous neighbours, as it has with its trade with northern Iraq. It has already started selling electricity to TRNC, and soon will sell water. For the past two weeks Sabah, a government mouthpiece newspaper, has kept silent on the Cyprus issue, perhaps suggesting the government would like to quietly built bridges. It is up to both sides now to see if that is attainable.


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BUSTED - John McCain Admits (On Camera) That He Contacts Islamic State

Several media, especially in the United States and France have strongly disputed Thierry Meyssan’s article on the relationship between John McCain and the Islamic State ("Daesh") [1]. They all claimed to have identified, and in some cases to know well, the person appearing in the photograph of the Senator’s meeting with the Free Syrian Army leadership in May 2013, so as to be in a position to refute that it is Caliph Ibrahim. Thierry Meyssan, who writes in Voltaire Net and his team, do not discuss the articles published by their colleagues in their recent article, which, they claim, are not verifiable. They simply point out that each of these reports has identified the person in the company of John McCain differently, but with equal assurance.

In any case, this controversy is now obsolete, since its only point was to establish whether or not John McCain had met with the leaders of groups classified as "terrorist" by the United Nations as well as his own country, including Daesh leaders.

It just so happens that he has already provided the answered himself.

To begin with, points out the report in Voltaire Net, here is a Fox News interview of John McCain, conducted by Greta Van Susteren, in which he states:

     "Hillary Clinton has described already the meeting in the White House over 2 years ago, everyone in the National Security Team recommended arming ISIS, and the President, by himself turned it down, just like by himself, he decided not to strike Syria after he said that they’d crossed the red line."
There follows an excerpt from an interview that John McCain gave on the Sean Hannity’s Show, also on Fox News, September 16, 2014, to slam President Obama’s plan against the Islamic State. The content closes the debate since the Senator himself admits to know the leaders of the Islamic State.

At the beginning of the interview, he criticized an article about the precariousness of a cease-fire between "moderate" and "extremist" groups. Then he claims to be familiar with the situation on the ground and, referring to his experience in Vietnam, he defends the idea of relying on all the "rebels" to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic.

To do this, he reveals having met the leaders of Daesh (unlike Ron Paul), and to be in permanent contact with them.

Both interviews were recorded after the attack on Iraq by the Islamic State, the ethnic cleansing and the massacres that accompanied it, but before the beheading of US citizens.

  • [1] “John McCain, Conductor of the "Arab Spring" and the Caliph ”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 18 August 2014.
Voltaire Net

November 20, 2014

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GEOPOLITICS - Greece & The Poker Game in the Mediterranean & M.East

The following analysis was written by Antonis Karakousis and featured in the Sunday print edition of To Vima.

Over the past few days American drones (unmanned spy planes) have been zipping through the Greek skies to unknown destinations. Greek authorities have been providing the necessary amenities for these spy missions, following relevant American requests, which are not as obvious as many may think.

Those who closely follow international developments are aware that the interest in the greater Southeastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Turkey, the Caucasus, the Caspian region and Southern Russia is increasing. It is not just the threat of the Islamic State that is generating this interest, there are many other factors at play.

When called upon to analyze what is going on this greater region, reliable diplomatic sources do not hide the fact that the oil and natural gas reserves in these regions and their transportation routes greatly define this new interest.

They cynically confess that with natural energy sources being limited and not expected to last until 2050, the strategic importance of this region only intensifies. The importance of the Eastern Mediterranean and especially of these energy sources is significant for the super powers as well as is critical in determining the conditions for  long-term stability.

Presently the region is dominated by upheaval, which makes the transition to a stable phase quite difficult, let alone time-consuming. But let us not kid ourselves, this transition is not going to take a lot of effort and strength and will likely cause conflicts and upheavals.

Reliable diplomatic sources warn that the region's future will not be rosy.

The geopolitical poker game that is being played has many dangers and threats for everyone. There are many undetermined factors and parameters that will influence the control of energy sources and establishing long-term stability in the greater region is also a challenge.

For example, the Americans have many reasons to be interested in the region, and they recognize that ISIS is a threat. They also understand Turkey's Islamic games, but their overall stance towards these two issues -especially Turkey- does not really define their policies. The Americans recognize the geostrategic location of our neighbor, accept Turkey's role in the transportation of oil and natural gas from the Caspian and treat Ankara as a key country against Russia, which they cannot trust following the developments in Ukraine.

The US would like to take advantage of Iran's hostility towards the jihadists, but in no way do they want to see a purely Shi'ite alliance between Tehran and Beirut because that would pose a threat to their traditional ally in the region, which is none other than Israel.

They would much rather prefer that a new Kurdish state emerge as a wedge between Iran and Lebanon.

Of course this is where things start to get complicated.

A unified Kurdish state, which would sit between Iran and Israel, cannot emerge without Turkey ceding territory from its southeastern corner.

Our neighbors across the Aegean would never accept such a development. They have spent countless resources and lost thousands of men over the past few decades in order to get the Kurdish areas in the south east under their control. It is therefore only wise to conclude that they are not going to accept the creation of Kurdish state without a fight because they would lose territory.

The oil fields of Mosul could provide a solution, but that is probably not enough and does not suit the imperial profile that Sultan Tayyip Erdogan has been developing over the past few years.

The same diplomatic sources note that the mere ascertainment of a potential threat, much less a direct expression of such intentions, would automatically trigger Turkey's claims on the western front.

Turkish provocations in Cyprus are already being treated as a response to the pressure Ankara is experiencing on its eastern front.

It has been reported that Turkey has suffered many defeats, political and diplomatic, on its eastern front, so the Ankara establishment is vying for quick victories on other fronts.

Greece, which is hoping to evolve into an energy player, cannot obviously stand idle with a geopolitical chess game being played out in the greater Mediterranean and Middle East areas. Our country must secure itself against all potential dangers, liberate itself from  financial dependence, seek out strong and stable alliances, exhaust all possibilities on coming to an agreement with Turkey and finally we need to develop a strategy that is going to protect our national interests.

Foreign diplomats associate this strategy with supporting the Greek Armed Forces and are essentially preparing the domestic political classes for a new expensive arms race. They point out that you cannot take advantage of oil and natural gas without reliable Armed Forces. The same officials do not hesitate to warn that “without international alliances and strong Armed Forces, oil can quickly turn from a blessing into a curse”.

In any case, and beyond the financial crisis which is now being overcome, Greeks have to realize that our country sits on the edge of an area that suffers (and gives way) to major conflicts and upheavals. A region, where changes in borders are the dominant element.

So as you can see, a geopolitical poker game is being played in the greater Mediterranean and Middle East. There are many players and Greece now has a seat at this table...


IDIOTS - Ukrainian Forces Fire at OSCE Special Monitoring Mission

(Sputnik) – Ukrainian soldiers have fired at observers from the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) deployed in Ukraine by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

According to an SMM report released Wednesday, military personnel travelling in a "flat-bed cargo truck" with "white vertical lines on the tail-gate…and on the passenger door" shot in the direction of an OSCE convoy near government-controlled Mariinka, located about 15 kilometres, or 9 miles, east of Donetsk.
     "One of the soldiers stood up and fired two shots in the direction of the OSCE convoy. The bullets struck about 2m from the second OSCE vehicle. The SMM staff travelling in this vehicle heard sharp sounds originating from road or bullet fragments impacting on their car. Due to security concerns, the SMM left the area immediately," the report said.
Another report released by the SMM Wednesday, said that Ukrainian forces did not allow OSCE monitors to pass through a bridge checkpoint in Debaltseve on November 18.
     "Instead, the SMM was told to take a long roundabout route to bypass the bridge. On its way back from Perevalsk, the SMM approached the bridge and it stopped at another CP, located directly opposite to the initial one, on the other side of the bridge. As the SMM stopped in expectation of further command, a warning shot was fired by the CP staff in the direction of the OSCE car," the report said.
The SMM was deployed in Ukraine in March, following a request by the Kiev government and a consensus decision by all 57 OSCE participating states. The mission is meant to contribute to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security in the conflict-torn Ukraine.

The conflict in Ukraine escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of a February coup.

The two sides reached a ceasefire agreement in September, but have since accused each other of violating the truce.


Cyprus' Aphrodite Holds 12% More Natural Gas Than Initially Predicted

The Israeli companies Delek and Avner, which together with the American company Noble have the exploitation rights for the Aphrodite plot (or Plot 12) of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), stated recently that the natural gas deposit in the plot is 12 percent larger than initially predicted. The companies, says a report from Greece's state run news agency, made the assertion in an announcement at the Tel Aviv stock exchange.

According to the revised estimate issued by the two companies, the deposit holds 4.54 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Delek and Avner add that their goal is to include the Aphrodite plot in wider plans for the exploitation of the Israeli ‘Leviathan’ deposit and that, given the small size of the Cypriot market, the bulk of the fuel will be sold on the international market.

Source: AMNA

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ANALYSIS - West Never Intended to Defeat ISIS

Image: A growing chorus among US policymakers and the Western media are claiming that ISIS poses a minimal threat even amid simaltaneous efforts to ratchet up public hysteria. The West also claims it is no longer necessary to "defeat" ISIS and it should instead be "contained" - instead nations targeted for regime change by the US, allowed to continue fighting America's enemies by proxy ... or in other words, ISIS should continue serving as the West's private mercenary army. 

Tony Cartalucci - NEO, LD - A torrent of "foiled" terror plots have recently undulated headlines across the Western World. In Rochester New York, the FBI netted a man they claimed was plotting a shooting spree targeting US service members. In Australia, over 800 security agents swooped in on 15 ISIS suspects whom the Australian government claimed were plotting to randomly behead a member of the public. In the UK, 4 suspects allegedly linked to ISIS were arrested before carrying out a plot Scotland Yards claims was aimed at the Queen of England herself.

According to Western security agencies, in addition to ISIS' regional campaign of brutality stretching from Lebanon, across Syria, and into Iraq, it is also working ceaselessly to carry out attacks against targets within the US, across Europe, and even in the Pacific.

US Policymakers Claim ISIS is Neither a Threat Nor Necessary to Defeat

Considering the hysteria generated by ISIS' alleged global exploits, it should then be infinitely curious to readers who happen across US policymakers claiming that ISIS may pose a threat, but constitutes by far a lesser threat than Iran or Syria - the two principle nations leading the real fight against ISIS and its international sponsors. Furthermore, US policymakers claim there is no urgency to defeat ISIS, and it should instead be "contained." Of course, this "containment" will be within states targeted by US-backed regime change - serving as a convenient agent of destruction, destabilization, and perhaps even regime change itself.

More troubling still, such policymakers hail from the US-based Brookings Institution, a prominent corporate-financier funded policy think-tank that has helped direct American foreign policy for decades. Brookings "Federal Executive Fellow" Robert Hein, a career US Navy officer, has presented analysis under an article titled, "The Big Questions on ISIS." After diminishing the threat ISIS actually poses to the US and suggesting that the battle against the terrorist organization will be perpetual - without qualification he claims:
    There are other hard questions for even bigger threats in the Middle East, such as how to ensure a nuclear free Iran and how to deal with the Assad regime in Syria. For ISIS, though, we may have it right.
It would have been interesting if Hein did qualify that final statement - explaining how an extraterritorial terrorist army armed and funded by some of the largest, most influential nation-states on Earth, currently ravaging three nations while allegedly plotting against the rest of the planet is somehow a lesser threat than Iran and Syria - both of which have not threatened the United States, and in fact, according to the Brookings Institution itself, have expressed a specific desire to avoid a confrontation with the West.

ISIS is a Lesser Threat - But a Lesser Threat to Whom? 

As bizarre as Hein's analysis may seem, it strikes at a troubling but undeniable truth. If by "US" Hein meant the American people, America's service members, and victims of various staged attacks aimed at justifying foreign wars, then ISIS is a threat. For the many millions living in the Middle East or North Africa, ISIS is undoubtedly a threat. For corporate-financiers on Wall Street, the many corrupt politicians in Wall Street's pocket in Washington, or corporate-financier funded policymakers like Hein himself, ISIS is not only not a threat, but an indispensable asset.

As such, prioritizing ISIS' destruction is not part of Wall Street or Washington's agenda - rather - perpetuating this threat for as long as possible is. Hein is unabashed about this notion, claiming:
    Should we defeat ISIS? Rather than defeat, containing their activities within failed or near-failing states is the best option for the foreseeable future. The United States has no desire to build nations, and without a stable Middle East, terror groups will continue to find safe haven; if not in western Iraq or Afghanistan, then in Yemen or Somalia. The Middle East and Africa have no shortage of ungoverned or poorly governed territories. The current strategy of prolonged engagement, development and training of local militias, logistic support and air strikes against real targets may be the best solution after all.
Hein's strategy also works exceedingly well if ISIS was intentionally created as a proxy mercenary force, deployed by the West against its enemies. Such a notion, while dismissed out of hand by many as a "conspiracy theory" is not only plausible, but in fact a documented fact. The use of terrorists and sectarian extremists is a reoccurring feature in Western foreign policy - including its most notorious use in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980's where the US created Al Qaeda to begin with. As recently as 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh documented a conspiracy to once again use sectarian extremists aligned with Al Qaeda to target, undermine, and overthrow the government of Syria and wage a proxy war against Iran.

His report titled, "The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" stated (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. 
It would be difficult to read Hersh's 2007 report and attempt to deny that is not precisely what has unfolded, verbatim, beginning under the cover of the US-engineered "Arab Spring" up to and including the creation of "ISIS" and its growing fighting capabilities possible only through an immense, coordinated multinational effort.

The creation of ISIS and what appears to be concerted attempts to justify the slow burn prescribed to "stop it" are echoed in Hein's proposal of "not stopping ISIS to stop it."

Why Syria and Iran are Bigger "Threats" 

Ironically, it was an extensive policy paper produced by the very think tank Hein belongs to - Brookings Institution - that noted Iran (and therefore Syria) not only did not want war with the West, but was willing to weather endless covert provocations to avoid giving the West an excuse to wage hegemonic war against the nations. Within the pages of Brookings' "Which Path to Persia?" report published in 2009, it was stated:
    With only one real exception, since the 1978 revolution, the Islamic Republic has never willingly provoked an American military response, although it certainly has taken actions that could have done so if Washington had been looking for a fight.
    Thus it is not impossible that Tehran might take some action that would justify an American invasion and it is certainly the case that if Washington sought such a provocation, it could take actions that might make it more likely that Tehran would do so (although being too obvious about this could nullify the provocation). However, since it would be up to Iran to make the provocative move, which Iran has been wary of doing most times in the past, the United States would never know for sure when it would get the requisite Iranian provocation. In fact, it might never come at all.
The report would also state: would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)  
The entire report is a documented conspiracy to justify and provoke war with a nation actively seeking to avoid war even at the cost of suffering innumerable humiliations, covert attacks, assassinations, decades-spanning sanctions, and other forms of terroristic provocations.  When Hein and other US policymakers refer to Iran and Syria as a "greater threat" than ISIS, they do not mean a threat to the national security of the American people or the territory of the United States itself - but rather a threat to their own hegemonic interests well beyond America's borders and even interests that lie within the borders of Iran and Syria themselves.

Deciphering the deceptive, criminal language used by US policymakers illuminates the ongoing conspiracy in which ISIS plays a central part. ISIS is considered not a threat - not because the US can manage what they claim is an inherently "anti-Western" terrorist organization - but rather because the US itself created and controls it. Syria and Iran, while not actual threats to the West, are considered instead "threats" to US interests - more specifically - the interests of the corporate-financier elite on Wall Street and their lobbyists in Washington D.C.

The author, Tony Cartalucci, is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook” most of the articles of which are also featured on LandDestroyer.

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MOVIE TRAILER - "Promakhos" For The Return Of Parthenon Marbles Premiers Nov. 25

The battle for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece has indeed begun. The new film, which is going to premiere at the end of November, is a Greek, French, and British co-production directed by Greek-American directors Coerte and John Vourhees.

It is a courtroom drama that tracks the legal battle waged by two Greek lawyers for the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The name of the film was inspired by the statue of Athena Promakhos which we all know is used to defend the Parthenon in antiquity.

The cast of this exciting new film, that will hopefully raise even more awareness about this national issue, includes Giancarlo Giannini, Paul Freeman, Pantelis Kodogiannis, Kassandra Voyagis, Georges Corraface, Michael Byrne, Yorgo Voyagis, Spiros Focas and Karim Kessem, Kelly Eleftheriou and Jon Wennington.

The aim, according to director John Voorhees, is for people to learn the real facts concerning the marbles removal and the struggle that is currently underway for their return to Greece.

Corraface, who plays the architect in charge of the conservation of the Acropolis, says that the premiere of the film and the recent visit to Athens by Amal Alamuddin (George Clooney's wife) and senior members of the law firm she works for to discuss mounting a legal challenge for the marbles was a "remarkable coincidence" that echoed the plot of the movie.

The film was made under the aegis of the Greek culture ministry and supported from the "Alliance for Greece", the Acropolis Museum, the Greek-British Chamber, the Greek-German Chamber, the Greek-Spanish Chamber and the Greek-Italian Chamber, as well as cooperating with the groups "Return, Restore, Restart", "Bring them Back", "Marbles Reunited" and "International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures".

The movie is due to premier at most Village Cinemas across Greece but a special screening of the film will also be held at the Acropolis Museum on November 24th.

November 19, 2014


Interpol Gets Set To Investigate Allegations of Corruption in Greek Soccer

The assault against the vice president of refereeing committee (KED) Christoforos Zografos last week and the subsequent suspension of all soccer games prompted Interpol to launch a full fledged investigation.

A report in the To Vima newspaper on Wednesday said that John Abbott, the Chairman of Interpol's Steering Group, for the Interpol – FIFA initiative to reduce corruption, was going to be in Athens in order to meet and hold talks with soccer and political officials over the recent developments.

Olympiacos chairman Vangelis Marinakis has left it to be understood that he has vital information on the assault against Zografos and has called for all club owners to convene to put an end to violence.

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Amphipolis Has A (Major) Wager to Win

The Culture Ministry of Greece is looking for the proper laboratory and the group of scientists that are going to be responsible for the processing of the genetic material that was found at the Kasta tomb in ancient Amphipolis.

Speaking to the state news agency ANA-MPA, Culture Ministry secretary general Lina Mendoni said on Wednesday that some parts of the research, such as the excavation one (at least for now), have been almost concluded and others related to the geophysical survey are underway.

As far as the time needed to conclude the scientific research on the monument is concerned, this cannot be determined.

There are some things that can be done in a shorter period of time, Mendoni noted.
     "For example, the excavation that was conducted for three months was intensive because the ministry has provided the excavation team with the necessary support so as to complete it in a short period of time. From that point onwards, no one can rush things as far as study is concerned. Those things need to mature," she said referring to the development at Amphipolis.
Pointing to the processing of the genetic material she added:
      "The (Culture) minister said the scientists (responsible for this) would be Greek and I believe this is the right thing. Thank God, we have good human resources."
As to whether a DNA test would take place, Mendoni said this would be decided after consultations. Amphipolis, however, has a wager to win.
     "It is an exceptionally good opportunity to consider a model of sustainable, moderate growth in the area, that will keep the natural environment intact and will enable residents and visitors to enjoy this unique and timeless cultural heritage," Mendoni noted.
The full interview (in Greek) is available for subscribers at the ANA-MPA website. 

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Christian Militia in Iraqi Teach ISIS who is Boss!

Iraqi Christians are understanding what it is to take a stand in the name of the Lord God. Just weeks ago, Christian militia drove out Islamic State militants who had force villagers in a northern town in Iraq to flee.

The Associated Press reported that the flag of an Iraqi Christian minority party over the ancient Christian town of Bakufa in northern Iraq. Christian militia just gained a significant victory over Islamic State fighters after they pushed them out of the town just a weeks ago.

Albert Kisso, leader of Dwekh Nasha Militia told reporters that he only has a little experience, went on to say, "But we have faith, and in my opinion, faith is greater than military experience."
     "It is the priority of Dwekh Nawsha to protect the sons of this region, as well as the region itself - including its monasteries, churches, artifacts," said Kisso, a longtime member of the Assyrian Patriotic Party.
The newly formed Christian militia is only composed of 70 active fighters. The militia could have upwards of 250 men if they only had the firepower they need.

They are completely reliant upon Christian charities abroad and members of the Iraqi Assyrian community who has amassed wealth to aid them in their fight.
     "We found ourselves helpless," said Caesar Jacob, 44, a deputy of to the Christian militia's commander and an electrician. "We must depend on ourselves to defend our land for now and the future."
Bakufa was recaptured by Kurdish peshmerga fighters. These peshmerga fighters are some of the same fighters our brother Jeremiah and his team are teaching to perform medical aid to the wounded to keep them in the fight against the Islamic State.
The peshmerga helped to set up the militia.

Peshmerga commander Dr. Abdul Rahman Kawriny said, "We, the peshmerga, came here from Irbil to protect our Christian brothers and their homes. There was constant cooperation from both sides."

The village of Bakufa was one of many that was overrun by the Islamic militants during the summer of 2014. Many of the residents of the village fled for their lives.

While the Christian militia has quite a bit of local support, they have very few weapons at their disposal. In fact, because of these limitations, if forces volunteers to wait their turn to serve.

This would make one ponder why America continues to choose between which Islamists it funds, trains and arms rather than help Christian men in these areas to fight against Islam. After all, contrary to both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, we are at war with Islam.
So far, the militia has secured the town of Bakufa well enough for many of the people who live there to return.

However, what is not known is how many have left the area for France, who has opened their arms to Christians fleeing the murderous Islamic State.

I'm reminded of the mighty men of the Bible who also believed as Albert Kisso does. David threw off Saul's armor, and though he didn't have any military experience, he marched out to fight the giant that the armies of Israel trembled before, declaring:
    "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD'S, and He will give you into our hands."
Though Goliath laughed at him and said he would feed David to the birds and beasts, David prevailed over Goliath because God was with him and it was Goliath's carcass that lay ruined after David hit him with a stone and cut off his head (1 Sam. 17:48-51).

In American history, it only took roughly three percent of the people to take the fight to the tyrant King George III and his minions and defeat them soundly, securing America's independence from Britain.

Never underestimate the power of the true and living God and the people who will stand in His Name.

America, this should be a lesson to us


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Let's Blame Everything On Putin & QE Wonder-Drug To Be Sold In Greek Pharmacies

(The Slog) - Vladimir Putin will shoot down every passenger plane in Europe, invade France, burn Paris to the ground, and probably empty the entire water system of Western Europe unless he is stopped in Ukraine, claimed Frau Angria Gurgle last weekend.
     “This is not just about Ukraine,” she said, “it is about the the barbaric Russian bear breaking free from his cage and raping his way from Donetsk to Torquay via Berlin and Amsterdam, just like they did last time which is why I was forced to work for the Stasi against my will and walk around with nothing on during those dark years before I finally liberated my fridge and escaped to the West”.
In a desperate bid to avoid an octagonal-dip recession from joining forces with the previous seven, BoJ president Fukuchina Kamikaze will this morning try to re-freight the Japanese economy by filling large crates with Yen and then holding Lucky Dip parties all over Japan. “This will increase retail spending and then after that we will take all the money back in tax and dump it into the Leakushima plant,” explained economist Harikiri Killokure.

Japanese Prime Minister Gimme Abacus’s bold QE experiment got off to a disappointing start earlier this year when he tried to achieve parity with the Mali banana while buying $850 zillion worth of shares in General Electric, but the gdp still fell by 700%.

However, global eco-fiscal guru Android Evan-Elpus said that other factors needed to be taken into account.
     “Most thinking economists now agree that without QE, Ebola would be endemic throughout Western Europe,” he opined, adding, “We have to remember that as Japanese debt is itself one billion per cent of gdp, setbacks like this are relatively minor hiccups and might even help in the end, I don’t know because I’m making all this up as I go along. But what is clear to me is that Japanese debt is onshore thanks to the unique strategy of lending money to themselves and retaining full employment. This lack of workforce slack means nobody gets the sack and everything will pack up back to back once Japan’s off the rack, and consumers learn the banzai-knack of buying bric-a-brac while jumping over the crack… ready to pack up their troubles in their old kit bags before invading Nippon’s neighbours, which finally solved all the problems after 1932″.
      “Listenayoo,” suggested ECB Chairman Mario Don Corleoni to the EU Parliament, why you look asso sad,eh? Italia gotta de big problemo but warraelse izza new? Anna de Grecos is behind on their taxes but we talka smallfry here… weez inna good shape and issa gonna get much bedda once I start a spendin inna de mossa unconventional way denna yoo gonna see us cookin onna gas”.
The Bundesbank and ECB have drawn closer on economic stimulation in recent weeks, such that BB boss Tense Weidefück has withdrawn threats to hang Corleoni upside down from a Milanese petrol station if he so much as purchases an old Bond video. But Mario will be skillfully avoiding any confrontations by following a policy of Creative Random Asset Purchasing (CRAP) that is unlikely to irritate the Bankfurters. CRAP expert and leading FT columnist Nigelino Lewswoman explains:
     “It is expected that Mario will begin with massive purchases of ABS braking systems, thus wiping out any potential for a growing German trade deficit. At least €0.8 trillion will be used to hoover up excess Fiat cars not as yet backed by gold, and a majority stake in Spain’s giant omelettes to castanets combine Huevomenco is expected to produce a significant boost for Iberian exports. But the turning point could well be Corleoni’s plan for massive French reflation and debt reduction via the €8.7trillion purchase of 30,000 hectares of nuclear waste dumps near Cahors, and its reconfiguration as a gigantic vineyard focused on exports of pretentious wine to Japan. The Bank of Japan in turn will buy everything the new scheme produces, having shown particular interest in the planned Geiger/Comptoir grape blend.”
In his recent speech, Don Corleone singled out Greece as a country which “reapa di beneficio” of the mass suicides and other spin-offs from the eurozone austerity policy.

The Greek economy grew by 0.7% this quarter when a 5-litre can of Kardamyli olive oil was bought impulsively by Foreign Minister Evangelard Veriobesos, making Greece the fastest-growing economy in ClubMed.

The ECB boss confirmed his plan to cancel the tax on Greek dips and thus stop any chance of a double-dip recession, adding that every waste bin in Athens will be filled with the results of the last central bank asset purchase of 3.6 million Dutch pancakes.

Alexis Tsipras said he thought the idea would fall flat.


Vangelis' Compositions Accompany ESA's Rosetta Space Mission (VIDEOS)

The second of a trio of music videos was released by the European Space Agency (ESA) to celebrate the first ever attempted soft landing on a comet by ESA's Rosetta mission.

Vangelis, the world-renowned Greek musician, apparently composed three compositions for ESA that were inspired by the Rosetta mission. Vangelis's music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration, and he is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the documentary series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis said: "Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write."

Some may remember Vangelis' compositions for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey. The compositions titled "Mythodea" is a choral symphony by Vangelis and was originally premiered in concert in 1993. It was published in 2001 by Vangelis' new record label Sony Classical, which also set up the NASA connection and promoted a new concert.

The 2001 version of Mythodea was recorded and played on-stage by: Vangelis on synthesizers and keyboards, the London Metropolitan Orchestra augmented by two harpists, sopranos Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, the chorus of the Greek National Opera, and, for the concert only, the Seistron and Typana percussion ensembles.

The concert was held in Athens, Greece on June 28, 2001, and the record was officially released on October 23, 2001, to coincide with the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft entering the orbit of planet Mars.

The video of the concert was released in early 2002.

The number of attending spectators to this incredible event was between 2,000-2,500, with another 30,000 people watching for free on a giant screen at the nearby Panathinaiko Stadium. The concert lasted just over one hour, after which three encores were played: Chariots of Fire, Conquest of Paradise, and a combination of Movements 9 and 10.

Mars itself made a special appearance at the concert as an announcer told the spectators to look for an orange spot shining in the clear sky above the orchestra.

The concert was repeated the following day without an audience, to get extra camera angles. Despite not having been announced, around 50 people who showed up at the venue were admitted for free, authorized by Vangelis himself.


101-year-old Greek could be Europe's oldest driver

Britain's Fancis Morris
A 101-year-old Greek man reportedly renewed his driving licence for another three years, and has probably become the oldest driver in all of Europe, a report on the kefaloniapress news site said.

The report states that the elderly man travelled from the island of Cephalonia to the city of Patras in order to renew his license for another three years.

Newer reports, this time from inkefalonia, state that the elderly man is originally from Akrata and only owns a summer home on the island of Cephalonia.

Looks like Greece just beat Britain's Fancis Morris who at 100 years old held the title as the oldest recorded driver on the European continent for 2014.

Article in Greek:

November 18, 2014

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Conspiracy or Truth - Ukraine Blitzkrieg - Putin Vows He Won’t Let Nazis Win


A truly ominous Ministry of Defense (MoD) readiness report is apparently showing that the Southern Military District is in the final preparations for a blitzkrieg attack upon the eastern regions of Ukraine in order to protect its Russian speaking citizens from annihilation at the hands of the neo-Nazi led and Western regime backed government in Kiev.

Blitzkrieg (German for “lightning war”) is an anglicized term describing a method of warfare whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armored and motorized or mechanized infantry formations, and heavily backed up by close air support, forces a breakthrough into the enemy's line of defense through a series of short, fast, powerful attacks; and once in the enemy's territory, proceeds to dislocate them using speed and surprise, and then encircle them.

What makes this MoD report particularly important are the Southern Military District battle group assignments for late November/early December that include the 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade and the Black Sea Fleets 810th Marine Brigade securing the city of Mariupol, which is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine and the second largest in the Donetsk Oblast.

The MoD report states that the anti-mining operation(s) of the Mariupol sea lanes conducted on November 11th were “highly successful”, thus offering an explanation to the massive explosion witnessed by residents of this city off of their coastline and that had previously been left unexplained, but still left this region in fear.

Mariupol, it is important to note, is the key city which stands in Russia's way to make a land bridge from its territory to the Republic of Crimea which on March 18th rejoined the Federation, but that the Newsweek News Service warned on November 17th, that it’s now a common belief, on all sides, that the fragile cease-fire in Ukraine will turn before long into a hot and bloody conflict that could drag the whole region—if not the whole world—into war.

In explaining to the German public broadcasting organization ARD his fears of this region on November 17th President Putin stated:
     “Frankly speaking, we are very concerned about any possible ethnic cleansings and Ukraine ending up as a neo-Nazi state. What are we supposed to think if people are bearing swastikas on their sleeves? Or what about the SS emblems that we see on the helmets of some military units now fighting in eastern Ukraine? If it is a civilized state, where are the authorities looking? At least they could get rid of this uniform, they could make the nationalists remove these emblems.”
Even more ominously in his interview with ARD, Putin warned:
     “Today there is fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed forces there and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about it? Not a single word. And what does it mean? What does it tell us? This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don’t. And we won't let it happen.”
Even more concerning to Putin and Russia is the West continuing to ignore the ISIS-style war crimes of Ukraine and its neo-Nazi forces reported by Amnesty International that include the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 by two Ukrainian fighter jets. 

To the timeline of the Southern Military District taking control of Mariupol by December, this report notes, is based upon “US domestic political realities” that the MoD leaves unexplained, but with the anti-Russia Republican Party taking power in Washington D.C. this coming January really doesn’t need to be explained either, especially with Senator John McCain vowing to arm Ukraine when he takes over the Senate Arms Services Chairmanship.

As to how the Obama regime will respond to a Russian blitzkrieg against the neo-Nazi Ukrainian government this MoD report doesn’t say, but with US Secretary of State John Kerry signing a secret agreement with Saudi Arabia to flood the world with cheap oil in order to destroy the Russian economy this past September, one should always note that economic warfare between major nations always leads all-out, if not total global war.

Note: Other Conspiracy or Truth articles analyzing the crisis In Ukraine, Russian-EU relations, the revival of the Cold War, the mystery surrounding the Malaysian plane disappearance, the geopolitical events that are unfolding in the East Med and Europe as well as all the threats that were made from the Saudis to the Russians, etc -and how all these stories more or less tie into one another-  include: Russian Navy Rushes To Australia Over Putin Assassination Fears    /    Putin Issues Feared “Dead Hand” Order As Global War Nears   /  Bloodstained CIA Hands All Over Malaysian Plane Destruction Reports Russia /     Germany Races To Stop US-Backed July Terror Attack /       Power Plays by Rothschilds, Rockellers leave Putin on the defensive /    Obama Order To Execute 175 Saudi Arabian Homosexuals /   Putin Responds After Obama Orders Atomic Bombs To Europe /  : Moscow Astounded As Top Mob Boss Becomes Ukraine Leader,  / Putin Orders Feared Alpha Troops To Ukraine, Declares “Red War”/  US Refuses To Take Back 13 Dead CIA Spies Killed In Ukraine/    Armageddon Warned Near As Russia Orders “All-Out War” On Petrodollar/,    Ukraine “Rape-Murder” Squads Approved By Obama Horrifies Russia/,    US Spy Drone Shot Down Over Northern Fleet Base Alarms Russia/   Furious Putin Orders “Project Double Eagle” To Destroy US, EU Economies/,    Malaysia Flight 370 Pilot Confirmed As CIA “Asset” As Plane Exploded Over Indian Ocean/,    Russia “Puzzled” Over Malaysia Airlines “Capture” By US Navy/,    Obama In Shock After US Oil Giant Sides With Putin; Declares “No Ukraine War/ ,   Was Ukraine’s Gold Reserves Secretely Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?/,    Putin In “Fury” After Saudis Brand Obama Regime Terrorist Organization/,    ,Putin Orders Massive War Moves To Protect Iraq After Saudi Threats/,   Putin Orders Largest Air Defense Drill In History As War Fears Accelerate/,    Putin Orders Russian Troops And Ministries To Atomic Shelters Over NATO Threat Of War/,    800,000 Ukrainian Refugees Flood Into Russia As Nazi Forces Continue Eastern March,/    Putin Sends Feared Shock Troops, Division Into Ukraine, Warns Obama Is “Unstable”/,    Putin Orders Military Alert To Defend Ukraine Against Western-Backed Fascists/,    Ukrainian Mob Call To “Kill All Jews” Horrifies Russia,/    Russian Threat Of War Over Ukraine Stuns Obama,/    US In “Shock And Turmoil” After Snowden Info Lets Russia Tap Top Obama Officials



Hellenism In All Its Glory - Stunning Roman Mosaic Revealed in Thrace (PHOTOS)

Another element of Hellemism and all its glory is slowly coming to light. Althogh the dig at Amphipolis may be monopolizing the interest of young and old, do not forget that similar digs are being conducted all around Greece everyday. One such dig in Plotinopol, Thrace is bringing magnificent works of art to light.

A stunning colourful mosaic was revealed during excavations at Plotinopolis, a city founded by Roman emperor Trajan and named after his wife, Pompeia Plotina. The dig is being conducted inside a Roman bath in the north-eastern Greek border town of Didymotiho.

According to an article in the To Ethnos newspaper on Tuesday, the Mosaic is an impressive representation which, when revealed in full, will display a myriad of fantasy creatures including dolphins, Nymphs, Cupids riding mythical sea creatures, centaurs, horses, etc. It dates from the second half of the 2nd century AD and the beginning of the 3rd.

Similar themes, notes the article, may also be found in Italy's Ostia, and in the house of red columns in Tunisia,

The head of this unique excavation, archaeologist Mattheos Koutsoumanis, told the newspaper that so far the excavations have cleared a large portion of the debris on the mosaic flooring (or 90 out of 1.40 square metres).

So far, the figures depicted include young Evros, son of the King of Thrace and Kassandros who emerges from the water.

The municipality of Didymotiho contributed a hefty amount for the excavation which in return helped reveal the geometric motifs on the western part of the mosaic, (one of which is believed to be a "Solomon's Cube", while at the bottom are depicted birds and natural motifs).

The entire mosaic is constructed from glass and bound by stem coils and ivy leaves, both of which suggest that it may also be related to the worship of the God Dionysus.

Koutsoumanis told the paper that the problems at the moment involves the presence of the walls which are apparently delaying the full revelation of the mosaic floor.
     "In several parts we have thick walls, obviously from a later period. So far, the walls are 'stepping' on the mosaic and this is good, because we can remove them. But if at some part they have foundations, they will have destroyed this fabulous find," he added.
Based on the findings so far, archaeologists believe the spa was public and was not part of a luxury villa, while the walls and other objects found at the premises suggest that the site was later used as a pottery workshop.

The site is located northeast of Didymotiho, on the hill of Agia Petra, where in 1965 soldiers accidentally discovered the golden bust of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. The excavations here began in 1996 and every year more and more archaeological finds are being brought to light.

Without a doubt, the archaeological wealth of Greece is too vast to describe. All we know for sure is that our ancestors took care in leaving us with a glorified legacy on every corner of this Greek land.

PHOTOS from defencenet

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BUSTED - Probe Finds 6mln Euros in Karatzaferis offshore accounts

The ongoing investigation into finances of LAOS president George Karatzaferis' suspected wealth and money in several off-shore companies, demonstrates that the commissions from the sale of defence systems and weapons are far more widespread than what one could imagine. This new scandal also shows us that the interest by some individuals in Greece's national issues does not necessarily stem on the fact that they are patriots, but is really about how they will fatten their wallets.

So far, the investigation has revealed about 6 million Euros in his accounts. The money, according to press reports, appears to have been generated from a series of bribes related to various military armament contracts. If the charges hold ground then Karatzaferis could possibly face three felonies (money laundering, submitting a false asset declaration and illegally owning an off-shore company) - given that the case goes to trial.

So far, the investigation has shown that 5.5 million Euros were found in two offshore accounts belonging to Karatzaferis, but it has also brought to the surface the names of five other people who are apparently also involved in the bribes. In fact, some reports claim that a close family member of Karatzaferis could also be facing similar charges.

Prosecutor Panagiotis Brakoumatsos is waiting for a confirmation from the Greek Parliament some time next week regarding the aforementioned charges.

Meanwhile, a report in To Vima exposed the individuals involved in the bribes (from the above total) with noted names such as Th. Moschos, I. Rammos and P. Strantzalis which it said are military officers, and Stavros Komnopoulos and Alexandros Tsatsos who it added are owners of the French Kestrel company.

It should be noted that the French company reportedly acted as a middleman in the purchase of four AS 332 CI Super Puma helicopters from the Eurocopter firm in 2000, which cost a whopping 61,741,925 million euros, with a juicy 5.5 million euro commission.

If one goes back a few years, then everything becomes perfectly clear. It is a well known fact that when LAOS was in Parliament, Karatzaferis, and the members of his party (who today defected over to the ND party), often expressed a special interest in the supplies of the armed forces. The interest was so pressing that on April 28th, 2011 the Minister of National Defense who at the time was Evangelos Venizelos, was forced to publicly admit that Karatzaferis often visited him to ask when Greece would receive two submarines. Later on in Parliament he would skillfully encourage his MPs to ask questions on the matter. Also, the leader of LAOS more or less defended Akis Tsohatzopoulos (in Parliament) and even his off shore companies. (Tsochatzopoulos is serving time for accepting kickbacks and bribes in the sale of defence systems as well).

Some readers of HellasFrappe have criticized our blog for being very critical with Karatzaferis. Indeed we have been on more than one occasion, but we did not do this out of menace or prejudice. We also did not do this because he was a rival to former PM Costas Karamanlis, whom we still support. The reason we were highly critical over Karatzaferis in the past is because we constantly questioned the origin of his vast wealth. We were never convinced -and through our countless articles- often hinted that he was "selling" something else other than a few political lines to his voters. From what we see, we were spot on. He was indeed buying and selling everything from people to defence systems.

In the mid 1980s Karatzaferis was supposedly combating the state television monopoly and had joined a so-called anti-propaganda machine against PASOK. He wandered through the streets with a camera and would make his own news bulletins, the tapes of which he would later “sell” (make your own conclusions on what exactly it was he was selling and to whom -and at what price-).

His efforts may have been quite amateur at the time, and downright silly, but he always gave the impression to (a large percentage of his audience that is) that he was fighting for free information and freedom of speech. His theatrical and charismatic skills paid off and in no time he established his own television channel which in all honesty was hardly noticed by the general public.

Most people would agree that he has audacity, and always comes across as being very blunt. This is probably why he created a school of nationalists who were infused with neoliberal and neodemocratic ideologies through his channel.

This all developed even further when Christodoulos was elected as the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece. At the time, Karatzaferis -being the opportunist that he was/is- decided to put on his best Christian suit. The moralistic, religious and nationalistic turn of Greek society, with its congregations, banners and protests over ID cards that occurred at the height of Christodoulos' reign as Archbishop, was manipulated by Karatzaferis and he suddenly came across as being the defender against the New World Order -especially during the period 1996-2004 or during Costas Simitis’ rule, and the protector of the Orthodox faith (since at least 95 percent of the Greek population is Orthodox).

In the same period, Karatzaferis also purposely collided with his own party leader Costas Karamanlis, and after literally insulting him with obnoxious innuendos was expelled from the party and never allowed to return.

So Karatzaferis did what he does best, he decided to bank on the opportunity and following the elections in 2000 he established the LAOS party. He went door to door and spoke to many people preaching about what is just and what is honorable and at the time quite a few people bought in on his play, especially in Northern Greece. So much so that during the municipal elections in 2002, his forces strengthened further. At some point the Golden Dawn party began to become active as well and it is a well known fact that some members from GD found their way on his ballots.

After receiving 14% of the vote, Karatzaferis the puritan and defender of all that is good and just -and who today is ready to be charged with money-laundering- transformed again and this time became a preacher of morals, nationalism, sensationalism and the defender of the status quo. Who can forget the summer of 2002 when he wandered from television station to television station indicating possible terrorist hideouts? Just 12 years later the man who sold the ideologies of "country, religion, family" (patris, thriskeia, oikogeneia), is set to be charged for taking millions of Euros (or Greek payers tax money) in kickbacks and bribes!

It is almost too comical. In the day he would promote the cross that decorated his emblem, swear allegiance to the country, the church and the nation and at night he would discuss what types of defence systems were better for Greece, given that he received a kickback or two.

Frappers, the case of Karatzaferis is just another example of the fading credibility of Greece's political system. This grand (lying) moralist was fooling society in the worst possible way, and we cannot say that we are upset that his true face has finally been revealed.

Opportunists such as Karatzaferis are too obvious to us and we knew from day one that he was dipping into the honey jar while pretending to preach the truth. Again, this was not because we were more inclined to Costas Karamanlis -who was and forever will be a big rival of Karatzaferis- but because we new in our gut that it was all fake.

Over the last few days many startling facts about his wealth have surfaced and one would think that he would have the decency to explain himself, or to at least offer to give back this money to the state. Unfortunately he hasn't and the few words that he has muttered are only to defend his own likelihood. Again, we are not convinced, on the contrary we believe that all he is doing is buying some time in order to prepare for the storm ahead. All this from the man who defended George Papandreou with a menace in 2008 against Karamanlis, who a few years later signed the First Memorandum and endorsed it on all levels, and the man who always placed the Mitsotakis family -and especially Dora Bakoyianni- above Costas Karamanlis.

Let us hope that the investigation continues and may it reveal the responsibilities of those who are implicated. This bribery scourge, which obviously flourished for many years in this sector, has to finally come to an end.

HellasFrappe Team

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