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August 20, 2015

Tribute to Mike - Two year memorial


Today, I ask all of you to feel the joy and beauty of Mike’s boundless spirit as I write this brief two-year memorial for him. For those of you who do not know, Mike was my soulmate, my confident, my partner in crime, my best friend and the co-founder of HellasFrappe. He died on August 20th, 2013 after suffering from pancreatic cancer. I hope that by sharing this private moment in my life you are all able to take wisdom from it for I really believe that God intended that this be a teachable moment.

Every time I think I have worked through the various stages of grief, I suddenly find myself at square one. I still feel his presence morning, noon and night and sometimes I even feel his hand on my shoulder when I am at my worst. I still have a hard time accepting he is gone, I still cannot accept the stillness in my home and the sorrow in my heart but clearly I have moved forward.

Why? Because his fight with cancer taught me that if we are living simply for status, money, fame, then none of these things go out with us when we leave this world. Our riches will be left in the bank, our fame will hang on a wall or will be forgotten and our status will not impress the Lord.


Another thing he taught me is that there is true beauty in the written word. When those silent prayers to our loved ones aren’t enough, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards in my case) can be quite soothing to the soul.

Today, two years after his death, I choose to continue the positives that he and I began together. My primary direction, however, is to add more meaning and purpose to my life because I know this is what he would have wanted for me. This includes selecting a specialty, continuing to write, broadening HellasFrappe, reconnecting with my family in more mutually fulfilling ways, and deepening my religious faith and outreach.

I also finally realized that those we love continue with us throughout our lives! They are never more than a thought away. Many advise me to leave behind the life Mike and I once shared together so that I can move forward, but I continually tell them that we never heal from leaving someone we loved behind, but rather only heal from bringing them with us.


Truth has become ever so clear to me especially with regard to what really matters in our lives, especially when we are brushed by death’s wing. All I know is that each and everyone of us is put here on this earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give to others. None of us know when this fantastic journey will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is a way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day.

So my advice to all of you Frappers is to find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see, touch, smell or taste, it could be as simple as the sound of the wind or the way the morning light catches the flowers in your garden. The important thing is to look for these things, and cherish them because it is these very things that are often unnoticed.

Will I ever get over the sadness of his death, probably not, but I will learn to keep moving forward allowing time to do its healing. Indeed, the scars will remain in my heart, but they are a gentle reminder of the good things that we both shared with one another.

I am humbled by the compassion, and multitude of messages that I have received over the past two years from people all over the world over his death. Thank you all, each and everyone, for your prayers and for allowing me to make Mike shine the way he deserved to shine. I want to also thank you all for allowing me to share such a personal experience publicly, and hope that it inspires all of you to stop and selflessly share a memorable moment with your loved ones before its too late.

Marina Spanos
Editor
HellasFrappe




August 12, 2015

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PROVOCATION - Illegal immigrants on Kalymnos stage protest - Tear Up Greek Flag!


credit naftemboriki

Immigrants who apparently ILLEGALLY entered the island of of Kalymnos earlier this week staged a protest and according to the FreskaNEA.com website they even had the audacity to tear up the Greek flag! According to the report, the incident began when police officials asked the immigrants to hand over their documents. For unknown reasons, the immigrants took offence, became hysterical and then began vandalizing the Greek flag!

The same immigrants, who we repeat ILLEGALLY invaded the island, then began to complain about the red tape needed to obtain the refugee status (or the documentation needed for this status). They shouted at authorities to hand them the documents (without the proper checks) and allow them to sail off to Athens. Tensions remained high for quite a bit of time and according to the same report even local port officials were abused.

Meanwhile, island residents are pressuring local authorities to remove the immigrants from public areas on their island (or in places where the immigrants -by their own initiative- have made makeshift accommodations).

The incident was even reported by MEGA channel (video below) but (as expected) they did not mention that the Greek flag was vandalized and instead only focused on the chaos.

Editor's Note:  ANYONE who dares to burn, tear, or even vandalize the Greek flag needs to be thrown out of this country IMMEDIATELY.  There is no ifs and or buts. There are plenty of other countries these people can go to if they truly are refugees. Why not go to S.Arabia or to Qatar? Try tearing up the flag in these countries, or better yet try abusing a police officer in places like Germany, France or New York. In the first case your head will fly off and in the second you will either be shot down by plastic bullets, or real gunfire. Whereas Greece has to be tolerant of human trafficking, because we live in fear of being called racists. How ridiculous is that? If illegal immigrants burned the American flag on a street in New York City, the police department there would have called in the swat team, the national guard or would have even shot the provocateurs!  We have had it up to here with all of this, and all this political correctness. It is so clear, our nation is under threat; we pity all of those who are forcing all of this human trafficking down our throats. Enough is enough!


Sources in Greek:
http://www.freskanea.com/ektaktokalimnos-episodia-limenikon-me-lathrometanastes-eskisan-tin-elliniki-simea-vinteo/
http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/988255/kalumnos-entasi-me-metanastes-ekso-apo-to-limenarxeio
http://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/499594/edasi-me-metanastes-kai-limenikous-stin-kalumno-/
http://www.huffingtonpost.gr/2015/08/10/koinonia-prosfyges-_n_7964816.html






August 11, 2015

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CHAOS - Illegal Migrants Begin Attacking Greek Police on Kos, Fling Rocks at Cars, Attack Public Buildings! (VIDEOS, PICS)

credit defencent

Hundreds of immigrants who entered the Greece ILLEGALLY apparently revolted against Greek authorities on the Greek island of Kos Tuesday at noon. The immigrants, who obviously have no respect for Greece and its laws, nor realize that they are here ILLEGALLY, demanded quick registration from authorities and then began blocking the main coastal road in the island's main town. They also vandalized public buildings and, as shown in the video below, even had the audacity to throw large rocks at drive by cars.

Local police authorities who were completely overwhelmed by the spark in violence have been trying desperately all summer to contain the surprisingly increasing numbers of people arriving every single day on rubber dinghies from the nearby Turkish shore. The local police tried to impose order on the crowd by spraying the jostling migrants with fire extinguishers and using batons.

Kos Mayor Kyritsis has called on the government to accept responsibility for the situation. At the moment more than 7,000 migrants have forced their way onto the island making it difficult to control the situation (almost one thousand immigrants ILLEGALLY force their way onto Greek soil every single day). The Mayor of Kos warned that there is danger of bloodshed, noting that the police force is not equipped nor has the manpower to maintain control and carry out registration. He called for special forces to be deployed on the island immediately to avoid any sort of extreme conditions.

The migrants are picky too. A local web site titled Kostoday.com said in one report that the process of transferring migrants to the Antagora stadium was met with hitches since most of these illegal immigrants are refusing to be documented. (Now why would a refugee refuse to be documented???? That alone speaks volumes!)


Please take not of how the migrants are being coached to protest by an unknown man who is holding a speaker. All photos are from defencenet

A degeneration of the situation resulted in roughly 1,500 of these people gathering in the stadium where they had the audacity to begin fighting against Greek police. As seen in the video below, they are not only out of control, but are attacking Greek public buildings.

These migrants, who are mostly from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan and not Syria like some internationalists claim they are, were literally saved by Greek residents from the island of Kos who plunged into the waters to save them from their sinking boats. This is the gratitude of these migrants!

HellasFrappe has no words! We only feel pity for all the pseudo humanitarian organizations (mostly Leftist in nature) who not only advise these migrants on what to do, but also teach them how to revolt and protest. We hope, that the Greek army is called to the scene to put some order. It is obvious that these migrants are ruthless, and therefore dangerous. If they are refusing to be documented then it is because they obviously have something to hide. Let us not forget that many experts have warned us for months now that there are many ruthless (and dangerous) individuals hiding amongst this community. This is why they have to be documented. The migrants however do not respect law and order, and most certainly do not honor the fact that Greek tax payers are paying for their daily survival. What is worse, they think that they can do as they please in our country. We totally agree with the mayor of Kos, something needs to be done quickly because sooner or later bloodshed will be spilled. We personally do not know how tolerant Greeks can be. Who ever disagrees with this opinion is a closet slave trader and human trafficker in our opinion. Enough is enough!

Sources - defencenet, Enikos, ProtoThema, SKAI Tv, ANT1, YouTube


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Gov't & creditors close terms For 3rd Memorandum - Will SYRIZA pass it through Parliament?

After a marathon meeting that lasted more than 18 hours the Greek government and the European Commission, European Central Bank, European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund finally locked an agreement. There is no doubt that the agreement will be painful but with the economy in the state that it is, it is obvious that any other choice would have been absolutely catastrophic.

All sides reportedly agreed on the primary deficit of 2015 and surpluses of 2016 and 2017. According to reports the introduction of any new measures in relation to achieving fiscal targets for 2015-2016 were ruled out.

The announcement was made on SKAI tv early in the morning and was confirmed by Minister of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos and Minister of Economy Giorgos Stathakis as they were exiting the Athens Hilton where the talks were held and on their way to Maximos Mansion to brief Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on all the developments.

On Monday evening the PM apparently had held phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker as well as with European Parliament president Martin Schulz with aim the speeding up of the negotiations in order an agreement to be reached until today (Tuesday). During his contacts, Tsipras underlined the need for the completion of the negotiations according to the EU Summit's decisions, noting that the Greek government is already moving on this direction. Government sources estimate that Tsipras' intervention was decisive and the developments confirmed all sides' volition for an agreement.

The reports on Tuesday morning about the agreement claim that mutual compromises were made on issues that had remained unresolved. Such issues include a new privatization fund, energy deregulation and non-performing loans. The government apparently agreed to a primary deficit of 0.25% GDP in 2015 and primary surpluses of 0.5% GDP for 2016, 1.75% GDP for 2017 and 3.5% for 2018, the same reports added.

Greece's lenders appear to have backed down on the issue of red-loans (regarding the legal protection against foreclosure), but the government apparently accepted a cap on the value of protection, which will likely be 300,000 euros. The four institutions apparently want a provision so that such problematic loans can be sold to special funds. On its part the government voiced its objection, and presented a counter-proposal for the settlement (or haircut) of such loans by a special management body.

Concerning the new fund for the privatization of public assets, Greece's lenders are in favor of upgrading and further improving the existing privatization fund TAIPED, so that outstanding state sell-offs can be completed as soon as possible. The government wants to set up an entirely new body though, which all have a ‘loose’ timetable that will allow it to put out these assets at the best time (or take advantage of the market).

The government was negative against a deregulation of the natural gas market and a separation of networks from energy providers, but it does not look like they are going to get their way.

Another thing that was discussed was the issue of collective bargaining, collective dismissals and union legislation. Greece's lenders insist that the terms of collective labor agreements only roll over for three months during negotiations, rather than six.

A few other issues that were also covered include the abolition of early retirements, with the Greek government wanting to address the matter in October. Also, a special tax for heating oil for farmers is going to occur in two installments, (one in October 2015 and the next in October 2016). It was also agreed to raise the VAT on private tutoring to 23% in order to offset a reduction of the VAT on beef from 23% to 13%.

From what we also learn, the solidarity tax is going to remain unchanged for incomes that reach no more than 30,000 euros but is going to increase for incomes over 500,000 euros (or from, 2.8% to 8%). For incomes up to 50,000 euros it will go from 1.4% to 2%, and for incomes up to 100,000 euros it is going to be raised from 2.1% to 4%. Finally for incomes up to 500,000 it is going to reach 6% from 2.8%.

Here is the list of 35 'prior actions' the Greek government must implement as a condition for receiving bailout money according to the Kathimerini newspaper. Keep in mind that these are the first 35 proposals, there are just as many proposals coming in October!
  1. A more restrictive definition of the farmer's profession
  2. Raise the tonnage tax on shipping firms
  3. Make quick changes to the special property tax so billing can start in September
  4. Changes to recently adopted taxes
  5. Changes in the medical prescriptions system
  6. Cut generic drug prices
  7. Eliminate tax discounts on fuel used for farming
  8. Heating oil tax breaks to be better targeted to benefit the poor
  9. A reassessment of welfare spending to make annual savings equal to 0.5% of GDP
  10. Restructuring of civil service
  11. Tackle inefficiencies in tax collection
  12. Abolish upper limit of 25% on confiscation of wages, pensions for debts to state,banks
  13. Reset lower debt limit for confiscations lower, to €1,500
  14. Changes in debt settlements by raising interest rates, excluding delinquents
  15. All tax investigation under the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE)
  16. No more settlements on tax, pension fund contribution debts
  17. Clarify eligibility requirements for minimum guaranteed pension after 67
  18. Publish circulars on the implementation of the pensions reform law of 2010
  19. Freeze monthly limits of guaranteed earnings-related pensions
  20. Gradual elimination of early retirement schemes by 2022; retirement age at 67 or 62 with 40 years of contributions; hazardous professions and mothers of children with special needs exempted
  21. Eliminate VAT discounts on islands by end-2016.
  22. Draw detailed plan for bank recapitalisation, liquidity injection and management of non-performing loans
  23. Abolish law extending validity of collective bargaining deals past their expiration date (voted by the present government on 2 July 2015)
  24. Adopt OECD proposals on liberalizing trade in goods (non-prescription drugs exempted).
  25. Opening up closed professions (e.g. engineers, notaries)
  26. Limit levies and fees "in favor of third parties"
  27. Cut red tape and accelerate approval process for low-grade-risk investments.
  28. Liberalize natural gas market by 2018; other energy market reforms.
  29. Approve the privatizations programme undertaken by the country's privatizations agency, the Asset Development Fund.
  30. Set dates for privatization bids for the Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports; privatize state train operator with no change in terms.
  31. Go ahead with the sale of regional airports with no change in terms.
  32. Draw up a list with pending privatizations.
  33. Adopt best EU practices on non-salary benefits (e.g. allowances, bonuses) from 1 January 2016.
  34. Pass bill on restructuring the Athens Public Transport Agency
  35. Proposals for expediting court cases.
Gov't to also begin slashing MP salaries!

On Monday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held a meeting to discuss a new draft law that aims to introduce a tax on parliamentary allowance, as well as a reduction in the wages of MPs, public utility chairmen and the presidents of independent administrative authorities. Reports said that the new law will tax the monthly allowance given to MPs, including the bonuses for participating in committees. At present only 75% of the parliamentary allowance is taxed, with the pay from committee participation being tax free. The new bill aims to reduce the monthly pay of Ministers, Alternate Ministers, Deputy Ministers, general and special secretaries by 15% and limits are to be introduced on the payment of presidents, managers and board members of public utilities and enterprises.

SYRIZA in a mess over new Memorandum!

Speaking on Mega Channel on Tuesday morning, SYRIZA MP Kostas Lapavitsas said that the new memorandum should not be referred to as an "agreement” because it is a “bad word”. He said that “we had an agreement on July 21st, now we have a memorandum” and noted that the negotiation procedures were “incredible”, adding that he cannot even describe them. When asked about how intends to vote in Parliament, the MP (who has never hidden his passion for the drachma) stressed that he will first carefully read what will be publicized and evaluate it, underlining that he will not vote for something that he has not read. Obviously distraught, he said that his party was elected based on its anti-bailout rhetoric and program and the new austerity measures and bailout agreement follow the same measures that were adopted by all the governments before SYRIZA.

On his part, Vice President of European Parliament and SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis posted on Twitter that “the great majority of members, MPs and the especially the people of SYRIZA support the leadership and policy of Tsipras. This will soon become clear”.

However, SYRIZA MP and Left Platform member Stathis Leoutsakos urged the government carry on with SYRIZA's campaign pledges. Speaking on MEGA channel on Monday morning he revealed that SYRIZA's Left Platform is making preparations so that the third bailout is not voted in Parliament. According to him, “SYRIZA and the bailout are incompatible concepts”. When asked whether MPs in the the Left Platform will resign or run independently in future elections, he said that these were “preposterous scenarios” and underlined that it is important to "restore" SYRIZA and the government.

HellasFrappe's Opinion on Matters:

The uncertainty and destablization that Greece has experienced over the last seven months must finally come to an end. The few issues that remain to be ironed out can be tackled with mutual compromises, if the political will exits.

Let us not forget that a few days after SYRIZA was elected into government, the Greek economy began experiencing a liquidity problem and the country began to live in a state of restricted funding sources. As Tsipras' government played a delay game with the institutions, the European Central Bank began tightening the grip on liquidity. So the stories you hear Frappers about this happening around the time that the referendum was held are all a lie. If you go through the news day by day you will also discover that around the start of Spring (and with an impending impasse looming), plans were already in force for a parallel currency by Yianis with one n Varoufakis and a return to the drachma by the Left Platform.

At the end of June the government systematically played this dangerous delay game (with the parallel currency in mind), leaving the economy fully exposed (or to completely crumble), while constantly losing power and options.

It came as no surprise thereafter that the doomsday scenarios prevailed. We suddenly saw the outflow of deposits and when talks broke off and the referendum was announced everything spiraled totally out of control. So if it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, was it Frappers? Is it a tweetie bird or is it a duck? It is a damn duck! So who is responsible for the mess we are experiencing? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that by removing the protection provided by our participation in the European program, the possibility of a disorderly bankruptcy emerged, capital controls were introduced and the possibility of leaving the Eurozone was directly addressed. Thankfully and after realizing what unbearable consequences were looming for Greece with a possible return to the drachma, Tsipras decided to come back to reality and ensure Greece's position in the Eurozone.

What needs to be addressed now is how the government will manage the agreement. SYRIZA is a mess! The terms and conditions of the agreement will determine the political developments that will unfold in the next few weeks but what is paramount now is ensuring Greece’s stability and return to normality. Greece and its people cannot endure any further adventures.

Yup... no one in their right mind could have imagined such a crazy turn of events and so much flip-flopping in only six months! Fortunately the lies and myths of "money" existing have finally ended, and a rude awakening to reality has finally occurred! There is still a small fraction of society that refuses to be faced with this truth, but thankfully this is just a small portion now and is really not taken very seriously. Sooner or later, this country will head on the road to recovery. The question is: Did we really need to suffer so much to finally reach this point?

Sources - Enikos, protothema, kathimerini, Hmerisia, Naftemborki, To Bhma

July 28, 2015

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Supreme Court Takes Action Against Yianis (with one n) Varoufakis' Plan B - VIDEOS


After playing down the initiative as a contingency plan that had never been implemented, and after denying the report and claiming that the media was using it to discredit him, former Finance Minister Varoufakis finally admitted that he had made secret preparations to hack into Greek citizens' tax codes to create a parallel banking payment system. More exactly, Varoufakis admitted that he was developing a parallel banking system to turn the tax records of citizens from euro into drachmas with the touch of a button. In a conference call with the London-based OMFIF think-tank, which was recorded on July 16 but only released on Monday July 28th, Varoufakis outlines his secret plan to a bunch of hedge fund investors and says that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had given him the go ahead to devise this plan (named "Plan B") before gaining government on January 25th. (The scandal was exposed by the Kathimerini newspaper on Sunday.)

In the recording, which was released on Monday and which is causing a storm of reactions, we can actually hear Varoufakis clearly saying that he had assembled a five-person team led by U.S. economist James Galbraith to do just that.
     "We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps," he said, adding that "of course this would be euro-denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma."
At some point in the recording, the moderator warns Varoufakis that other people were listening to the teleconference but would not repeat its contents and Varoufakis replied: "I know they are. And even if they do I will deny I said it."

(By far this is the worse statement of all, because it shows how politicians demonize the press at times for daring to expose the truth).

The plan, according to the recording, was to hack into his own ministry's software to copy tax systems code. In order to achieve this, Varoufakis said that he hired a childhood friend who was a software expert to help with the planning.

(Please note that his childhood friend was from Columbia University. This is an important factor as will be explained below.)

After denying the reports at first, and then playing the role of a media victim, Varoufakis was finally forced to admit the truth after the recording came to light. In a statement that was posted on his blog, Varoufakis defends the contingency planning and slams the domestic and foreign media for indulging in "far-fetched articles that damage the quality of public debate".
     "Greece's Ministry of Finance would have been remiss had it made no attempt to draw up contingency plans," the statement said, adding the unit worked within government policy and its recommendations were aimed at keeping the country in the euro zone.
Meanwhile, and in a separate statement posted on Varoufakis' blog, Galbraith notes that he had (unofficially) worked on the top secret plan on the basis that the government was committed to negotiating within the euro zone. Apart from coming into contact with SYRIZA MP (and drachma lobbiest) Costas Lapavitsas Galbraith said in his post that his secret group had no cooperation with the radical Left Platform of SYRIZA and concluded its work in May.

And if that wasn't enough, on Tuesday Varoufakis told the Financial Times in an interview that as he was handing over the reins of the finance ministry to SYRIZA MP Euclid Tsakalotos on July 6, he presented him with a full account of the ministry’s projects, priorities and achievements during his five months in office. According to him, the Plan B payments system was also apparently part of this presentation but luckily no member of the press took any notice.

(He actually says this to the Financial Times!!!)
     "But when a subsequent telephone discussion with a large number of international investors, organised by my friend Norman Lamont and David Marsh of the official monetary and financial institutions forum, was leaked despite the Chatham House rule that we agreed with listeners, the press had a field day. Committed to unlimited openness and full transparency, I granted OMFIF permission to release the tapes.
     "While I understand the press’s excitement emanating from elements of that exchange, such as having to consider unorthodox means of gaining access to my own ministry’s systems, there is only one matter of significance from a public interest perspective. There is a hideous restriction of national sovereignty imposed by the troika of lenders upon Greek ministers who are denied access to departments of their ministries pivotal in implementing innovative policies. When sovereignty loss, due to unsustainable official debt, yields suboptimal policies in already stressed nations, one knows that there is something rotten in the euro’s kingdom." Financial Times
The confession has provoked a storm of reactions. On Monday, at least 24 members of the main opposition New Democracy party sent a formal request to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to clarify whether he was aware of the plan to introduce Greece to a new national currency. if he had approved it and to also specify the actions he would take with regard to the political and criminal investigation of the case.

In a separate statement, the main opposition New Democracy party claims that specific elements within the ruling SYRIZA party had a hidden agenda for Grexit and used various “methods" that are dangerous to Greece's democracy and its national interests. At the same time ND called on the Greek Prime Minister and his younger coalition partner Panos Kammenos (leader of ANEL) to break their silence and finally come clean with “convincing and responsible explanations”.

On its part, the Potami party party called on Tsipras to confirm whether or not he was aware of Varoufakis’s plan since it was revealed on the recording that the plan was drawn up after consultations with the PM himself.

Without a doubt all this evidence has severely damaged the image of the SYRIZA party. Varoufakis' own admission that there were plans to “hack” into Greek taxpayers personal tax codes has sent Greece's political, financial and social world abuzz.


The news has also captured the attention of the the Greek justice system. A meeting that was convened by Chief Prosecutor of Greece Euterpe Koutzamani including leading senior magistrates and prosecutors, decided that the Supreme Court should turn to parliament to prosecute Yanis (with one "n"). As such the Supreme Court would turn to the Greek National Assembly for this very reason.

According to legal circles, Greek justice cannot automatically start formal proceedings against the former finance minister as this is not allowed under the provisions of the law on ministerial responsibility.

(In accordance with the law on the criminal responsibility of Greek MPs, parliament must first decide whether or not to conduct a preliminary investigation and withdraw the  immunity of the MP accused before the Supreme Court can begin prosecuting the case.)

Meanwhile, General Secretary for Public Revenues Katerina Savvaidou responded with an order for an urgent internal inquiry to be held under oath so as to investigate whether staff at the secretariat had committed illegal acts. According to an announcement, there will be an internal check of all IT systems to try and uncover whether any unauthorized accessing of data occurred.

And if that wasn't enough, there are also two lawsuits for treason which have already been filed against Yanis (with one "n") Varoufakis. The first by the non-parliamentary Telia party, former actor and mayor of Stilida Apostolos Gletsos and the second by Athenian lawyer Mr. Giannopoulos.

Regardless what decision parliament adopts, the Supreme Court will still go after all (non-political) persons involved in the drafting and implementation of this plan. As such expect to see action against Michalis Chatzitheodorou, Yanis Varoufakis’ childhood friend and information systems professor at the University of Colombia in the US, who was acting Chief Secretary for Information Services. As admitted by Varoufakis on the recording, Chatzitheodorou had developed the scheme to hack into the tax records of Greek citizens with the use of his own personal laptop.


Knowing very well that he will soon be faced with the law, Michalis Chatzitheodorou on Tuesday denied any “intervention in the information systems of the Treasury" claiming in a statement that all revelations regarding the hacking of the ministry systems are "absolutely untrue". Although Varoufakis did not outright name Chatzitheodorou during the infamous teleconference with the London-based Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, his identity was made known via the Greek media.

During the teleconference, the former Greek finance minister described in detail the attempt to create a parallel banking system which would resort to the drachma “at a touch of the button”, if negotiations with Greece’s creditors failed.

On the role of Chatzitheodorou he said that the general secretariat of information systems was controlled by him directly.
     "I appointed a good friend of mine, a childhood friend of mine, who had become a professor of IT at Columbia University in the States, and so on, I put him there because I trusted him to develop the system. At some point, a week or so after we moved into the ministry, he calls me up and says to me: You know what, I control the machines, I control the hardware. I don’t control the software. The software belongs to the troika-controlled general secretariat for public revenues.
    "What do we do? So we had a meeting, just the two of us, nobody else knew. He said: Listen, if I ask for permission from them to start implementing this program then the troika will immediately know we are designing a parallel system. Well, I said, That won’t do, we don’t want to reveal our hand at this stage. So I authorised him, and you can’t tell anyone that, this is totally between us, to hack…"
In his statement Chatzitheodorou says that  "The General Secretariat of Information Systems and Logistics and me personally, have designed, let alone attempted, any kind of intervention to its systems." He also notes that "the General Secretariat for Information Systems has established procedures and strict standards that guarantee the security of personal data“

OMFIF forum on July 16th

During the 4th minute of the recording, Varoufakis begins to analyze the main points of his plan B. Just before the 5th minute, he goes into detail on how they were going to create alternative accounts of all Greek taxpayers, including the use of smart phone applications. In order to achieve this they planned to issue new pin codes, which in turn would have formed a parallel payment system. At 6 minutes into the recording, Varoufakis begins talking about the parallel banking system that would have allowed the government to act when the European Central Bank would close Greek banks and at 7 minutes into the recording he begins talking about his childhood friend whom he had appointed to hack the software program of his own ministry.

Here is the recording

It should be noted that before the media began broadcasting the recording, Varoufakis was denying all the reports and charging the opposition and the media of propaganda against him and the SYRIZA party. A few hours after the media disseminated the recording, he made a statement on his personal blog admitting that it was all true.

(His statement leaves it to be understood that instead of negotiating with Greece's creditors in the first few months after SYRIZA was elected to power, he was more concentrated on materializing his plan to return Greece to the drachma. Another interesting factor is that the statement was written in the third person.)

Here is his statement.
     "During the Greek government’s negotiations and until the referendum, Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis oversaw a working group with a remit to prepare contingency plans against the creditors’ efforts to undermine the Greek government and in view of forces at work within the euro zone to have Greece expelled from the euro. The working group was convened by the Minister, at the behest of the Prime Minister, and was coordinated by Professor James K. Galbraith."
Then the saga begins. Speaking as an outsider, the statement on Varoufakis claims that he was/is a victim of strong criticism from the media and that the government had no contingency plan in the case of Grexit.
     "Ever since Varoufakis announced the existence of the working group, the media indulged in far-fetched articles that damage the quality of public debate, attempting to describe the group as a ‘conspiracy’ working on the return to the national currency. This is defamation. The Ministry of Finance’s working group worked exclusively within the framework of government policy and its recommendations were always aimed at serving the public interest, at respecting the laws of the land, and at keeping the country in the euro zone."
The full text of Yanis Varoufakis’ statement in English and Greek is available here:
http: //yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/27/statement-by-yanis-varoufakis-on-th ...

In addition to his own statement, Varoufakis published a public statement by Professor Galbraith in which he admits that he was a coordinator of this secret working group.

Commenting on the fresh evidence First Deputy Speaker Alexis Mitropoulos on Tuesday blamed Varoufakis for the austerity of the measures.
    "With his lack of modesty, his naivety, his zeal to showcase his own ideas it seems that he has hurt the Greek issue."
Mitropoulos said and added:"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and the creditors were likely aware of his intentions and as a result we should now accept these harsh measures and plan. Probably he had confided them or had expressed them as a threat, or as one of his plans," he said in statements to private MEGA TV.

HellasFappe's take on things

Frappers... A couple of years ago, a leap to death from the general secretary of the culture ministry almost brought down the entire government of Costas Karamanlis. For days the general secretariat's secret affair with one of his cabinet members made front page news in an attempt to discredit the government of Costas Karamanlis. While today a plan to return Greece to the drachma and take our economy back 2, or even 3 generations is described as being "propaganda" (and even an ingenious plan) by the same people who used the leap of death to crawl their way into power.

Obviously the severity of these two cases cannot be compared, yet there is no hysteria over Varoufakis' actions at all. One case involves a hot affair, and was a cause to bring down a government and the other involves the savings of Greek citizens and yet there is not a care in the world and the government and leadership of this country is not to blame Why? The answer is simple. The Left is in power and the Greek state is finally naked in the sense that it has always worked in favor of the progressive factions in Greece. No wonder all the unions are operated by the progressives.

Not even Spielberg could have come up with a better scenario. Think about it, a minister plans to devise a program to purposely exit Greece out of the Eurozone at the behest of the Prime Minister and admits this to hedge fund investors who we all know are waiting to prey on Greece like vultures. Yet not one nose is bleeding over the matter because hey... its not cool to be bothered with what the Left does because it is "progressive". It is insane!  Here is actual evidence of a planned coup by secret group, or as described by HF in previous articles as the 'drachma lobby" with hired foreign and domestic experts who are all somehow linked to Columbia University. The same university which George Papandreou also gave lectures at, and the same institution which is highly backed by none other than billionaire George Soros. Let us not forget that Soros brought down the Bank of England a few years ago, and we all know how much he wanted to bring down the Eurozone. Another interesting bit of information that was revealed on Tuesday involves an aide of the Clinton family who said that had Greece exited the Eurozone in 2010 (or under George Papandreou -as planned-) today Greece would have been a haven for business and an entirely different place. Should we also remind all of you that the Clintons are also highly backed by George Soros as well?

Imagine if all of this was happening under a conservative government. Greek cities would be thrown into complete chaos by swarms of anarchists (such as the December riots 2008), the public sector would have been staging protests all over the country, schools would have already shut down, half of Greece would have been ablaze and the West (US and UK) would have even called back their Ambassadors. But no... Now that a progressive government is in power, and a minister has admitted devising a plan to destroy everything Greeks have worked for for the past 20+ years -with the supposed green light of the prime minister himself- everything is peachy. The media is at fault for making a big deal out of the case, and no one should be concerned because according to progressives this move was not only right, it was also "ingenious".

Greek citizens may have once again been duped by the progressive left, but luckily they are now beginning to realize that they were also conned into voting "NO" at the recent referendum a few weeks ago because -as revealed over the past few days- the overall plan from day one was to return Greece to the drachma! It is going to be quite (sadly) entertaining to see the reaction of Greek tax payers when the Leftist Memorandum comes to pass (especially those who voted for the government). The previous governments were traitors, they were "germanotsoliades" they dared to vote YES to stay in the Euro, but no banks ever closed, our economy was beginning to show a surplus and the Greek state finally began to shrink.

No wonder no one takes this country seriously at times. There is no logic behind this kind of thinking, only madness. Whatever the Left does is acceptable and whatever the Right does is not. It just proves how divided we are as a society,. how the civil war never ended in Greece, and how a few wannabes play on this to not only widen the gap between us, but to also bank on it.

Greece may have given birth to democracy but it definitely suffers from Varoufakis bourgeois style rock stars who live for five minutes of fame at the expense of the masses. This country has actually been suffering from this for 40 years now and the Left has been very successful in gathering support because they present it as something cool, something progressive, something different.

Digest it, political parties are companies and sell ideologies. They do not care about me or you or any one of us, all they care about is their five minutes of fame and power (the money also helps). The repercussions of what happened in July will begin to surface once tourism dies down, and Greek citizens realize how much damage was made.

We need to rid ourselves once and for all from this type of thinking. We don't need foreign armies to destroy this country, we do a pretty good job of poking our own eyes all by ourselves. 

References: Kathimerini, YouTube, SkaiTv, MEGA Tv, Reuters, BBC, The TOC, ANA-MPA, Proto-Thema, Enikos

July 22, 2015

Gov't passes crucial bailout bill by 230 votes, 31 SYRIZA MPs vote "NO" - Varoufakis votes YES

The Greek government passed a crucial bailout bill by 230 votes early on Thursday morning in Parliament on a second package of prior actions linked to the third bailout memorandum agreed to with creditors last week, with only 31 SYRIZA MPs voting "NO" this time as opposed to the 39 who did not back the first round of reforms last week. The legislation was opposed by 63 lawmakers, while five abstained.

The new laws include the adoption of a European bank resolution scheme and the change of the civil procedure code. The laws will now protect Greek taxpayers from the cost of bank failures and stipulate that unsecured depositors (with more than 100,000 euros) will face losses before taxpayers. Also, shareholders, senior and junior creditors will be in line to take a hit before depositors. The law will is set to come into effect at the start of 2016.

Rebel "dissenters" include President of the Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou and former minister Stratoulis and Lafazanis. The BIG SURPRISE came by none other than Yanis (with one 'n') Varoufakis, who decided to vote "YES", but released a statement noting that he was only doing so to help the government buy time since he is convinced that the agreement will fail. It needs to be reminded that a couple of days earlier the former finance minister voted "NO" to the initial one-article framework for the “Greekment”.

While addressing Parliament, and right before the vote, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras said that the balance of power in Europe is one-sided, and dismissed criticism that the referendum he called for on July 5th generated the worse agreement with creditors. He noted that the current deal provides leeway to crush speculation over “Grexit” and opens a prospect for growth and investment to flow into Greece. He then said that his government will tackle corruption, vested interests and tax evasion, and then cited a draft law on broadcast licenses as proof of this.
     "Conservative forces within Europe still insist on their plans to kick Greece out of the euro. We chose a compromise that forces us to implement a program we don’t believe in and we will implement it, because the choices we have are tough. There will be no foreclosures of primary homes, the protection of primary residences, by this government, was, is and will be lasting."
On his part, and while addressing the Greek Parliament main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Vangelis Meimarakis touched on a looming clash between Tsipras and Zoi Konstantopoulou (as well as other leading SYRIZA MPs).

During the duration of the debate, the first sporadic violence was recorded when self-styled anarchist youths, began throwing firebombs at nearby riot police. Luckily, the riot abated quickly.

July 17, 2015

BREAKING - Major fire breaks out near Neapoli, Laconia - Local villages threatened

Greece is under attack. Once again we are witnessing an unprecedented and suspicious attack on our country just like we did eight years ago (or in 2007) with the fires in the Peloponnese. Currently there are 43 fires blazing across the country (or in Attiki, Laconia, Argolis, Evia and Malakasa).

(Please note: HellasFrappe will continue to post updates on the fire in the Peloponnese every time we get more information because we know that there are many people in the Diaspora with family here. Check back every so often for more. ^Also, we will post updates about all the other areas which are currently and suspiciously ablaze all over Greece.)

UPDATE 20:30 Local Time - The fire which began in the area of Malakasa, 30klm north of Athens was finally put under control, but a little before 20:30 local time SKAI Tv reported that the blaze was once again becoming a problem. Luckily three camps were evacuated in this area for precautionary reasons. In Athens - Firefighters are still battling the fire that broke out in the area of Kareas. In Laconia, it was reported that at least 17 homes have been burned as well as several businesses in the city center. The flames are still swiping through the city of Neapoli while all the nearby villages have been evacuated.

The social networks are ablaze with pictures of the smoke that is hovering over the Greek capital but certainly the photo below which was published by newsit is indeed the most characteristic.


Back in Athens Defence Panos Kammenos said that the army will begin routine patrols of all the areas affected and said that Greece was facing an unprecedented attack.

The pilots that are flying some of the helicopters used in the blaze in Laconia are some of the best in the world. Check out the video below. The pilot is attempting to release the water so as to put out the flame, but gets caught in a small whirlwind and is inches from crashing the helicopter. Check out how he handles the chopper and gets the job done. Incredible!


UPDATE 18:30 Local Time -In the area of Laconia: Houses were destroyed in the villages of Faraklo, Lahi, and Agios Nikolaos. The residents of the area were evacuated and transferred to other areas in the Peloponnese for their safety. Currently the 15-kilometer blaze is totally out of control and although there is a huge force battling the blaze the gale force winds which are hitting the area are making it difficult to put it under control. In Athens the fire that broke out at 12:30 pm local time in Kareas spread rapidly due to the strong winds in the area. Thick smoke has covered the entire region of Attika. A tavern was burned and a home was evacuated and the nuns of Agios Ioannis monastery were also transferred to safety. Due to a sudden change in wind direction the fire then began to move towards the area of Ano Glyfada (Aixoni) area and after 17:00 local time it began to move to the area of ​​Vari. And if that wasn't enough, another fire erupted in the area of Koropi, near the training center of the Panathinaikos soccer team. The fire that broke out in Argolida was reported to have started at a dump at Tolo near the city of Nafplio. The fire that erupted in the area of Malakasa, began near the church of Agia Marina, and is now moving near the Milesi area. The flames are very close to the highway. And finally the front that is raging on the island of Evia between the areas of Pissonas and Afrati is totally out of control.


UPDATE Local Time 17:30 - Update on the fire on the island of Evia: The flames have encircled the village of Afrati. As such, the village residents were immediately transferred to other nearby areas for their safety. The Mayor of Pisona (Mr. Psathas) told newsit that the fire is burning out of control and the fierce winds that are blowing in the area are not helping to put it under control. Fire fighters are attempting to create a safety zone around the village but the height of the flames are so great that their efforts are proving to be fruitless. There are a number of forces on scene from Central Greece, and together with volunteers and the Municipality of Messapion they are all trying to battle the fire.

UPDATE 17:00 Local Time -Two new fires have sparked up, one in the area of Argolida, with two fronts, (specifically in Drepano and Iria) and another in the area of Malakasa in Attiki. In Lakonia, many homes have been burning in villages like Faraklo and Lahi, while residents were said to be trapped at the seashore of Aghios Nikolaos awaiting to be rescued by boats. The death of a 58 year old Greek man (who was a permanent resident of Switzerland), was confirmed. Apparently the victim died of respiratory problems caused by the thick smoke. In Attiki, fire fighting forces and firefighting planes are also trying to combat the flames, despite the high winds. Despite their efforts, several homes have already been destroyed, a neighborhood playground was burned to the ground and flames have also surrounded a local church. Dozens of people, including elderly women covering their faces with headscarves, tried to put out the flames with buckets of water. Addressing reporters, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that citizens need to remain "calm."  He said that he has asked the air force and armed forces for help and had also appealed to other European countries for assistance with extra fire-fighting aircraft. And finally, while speaking to Greek TV from the scene of one of the fires, Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis was heckled by angry residents who accused him of doing "micro politics" and urged him to "take off" his jacket "and help" instead of just standing there and selling himself as a politician.

 In order to get a grasp of how intense the fires in Lakonia and Athens are, the satellite picture below was posted on enikos which shows the smoke from the fires as seen from space.

UPDATE 14:45 Local Time  - Another fire just broke out in the area of Pissona near Halkida. According to initial reports the fire is raging out of control in the areas of Pissona and Afrati. Local firefighters have rushed to the area and are soon to be joined by other firefighting forces from Lamia, Livadia, Amfissa and Karpenisi. Meanwhile Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rushed to the Pentagon to be briefed by Minister of Public Order P.Panousis who called on our EU partners to send reinforcements (France and Italy).  Meanwhile, the Ministers of Transport and the General Secretariat of Health, Christos Spirtzis and Giannis Mboskozos are heading south to Lakonia. In Attika the fire has already caused damages to some of the homes that boarder forest land on Ymmitos Mountain and now the fire is heading towards the area of Argyroupoli. The smoke has covered the entire areas of Ilioupoli, Kareas and Vyronas.


 UPDATE 14:15 Local Time - (We are living another 2007) - Another fire suddenly broke out in the area of Koropi, Attica 16klm southeast of Athens near the training ground of Panathinakos football club. As soon as HellasFrappe has information about this front we will make a relevant update. Meanwhile the causes of the fire that broke out a couple of hours ago near Athens, or specifically in the Kareas region, (close to the municipal cemetery of Vironas on Ymittos Mountain) are still unknown. Strong gales are blowing over the area making it very difficult for fire-fighters to put the fire out. At present, a smoke cloud has covered the Ymittos mountain and the Katechaki highway. In Laconia, the fire has now taken on grand proportions because of extreme gale-force winds which are blowing in the area (said to be 8-9 Beaufort). As reported by ERT and SKAI Tv in Greece, the fire is now just 500 meters from the Neapoli Maritime Museum. At the same time, the Kastana village and mountainous area behind the village are also at risk. A major operation is also currently underway to remove tourists from the beaches of Agia Marina and Prophiti Elias.

UPDATE 13:30 Local Time - The fire has swept through the village of Mesochori and this front is now heading towards the city of Neapoli. There are unconfirmed reports that one man has died (55 years of age) from suffocation. As reported by ERT Tv, τhe fire has swept through the villages of Lahi, Faraklo, Agios Nicholas, Velanidia, and the Neapoli medical center is now being evacuated because the fire is less than a few meters away. The winds are estimated to be at 8-9 Beaufort. Local residents who spoke on ERT Tv claim that they are waiting for boats to collect people at the Neapoli port (so as to get them out of harms way) because they have no other way to escape the area.

UPDATE 13.15 Local time - According to ERT a CANADAIR fire fighting was forced to land after battling the blaze near Neapoli, both pilots are apparently out of danger. The reasons the plane was forced to land are still unknown. According to ERT, the fire has now encircled the area of Neapoli  (or right above the town's cemetery) and is slowly approaching residential homes. All forces are on alert. -At the same time a second fire began to blaze in the area of Karea, near Vyrona on the outskirts of Athens. 

UPDATE 11.15 Local time - Reinforcements from the entire Peloponnese have been rushed to the area of the Akrotirio Maleas because the blaze - 15 kilometer front according to ERT- is out of control. Reports said that two villages and a summer camp have already been evacuated. More than 120 firefighters have been dispatched to the area, supported by at least 50 fire engines, four aircraft and two helicopters, but their battle with the blaze is challenging because of mountainous terrain and near-gale winds.


Original story

A fire broke out in the forest area in Neapoli, Laconia (in the area of Faraklo and Laki) early on Friday morning and according to reports it has already swept through two villages and is threatening others in the area. Speaking on SKAI tv in Greece, the mayor of Monemvasia Heracles Tricheilis said that fire fighting authorities are battling the blaze but the strong winds in the area are making their work nearly impossible. A report on newsit claims that there are more than 50 firefighters and 20 vehicles in the area, along with many other forces who have joined in the effort as well. Fire firefighting planes were also dispatched to the area but could not reach the front of the fire due to the strong winds, and therefore a helicopter was sent to aid instead. The fire, which apparently broke out at 4:00 am on Friday morning from unknown causes, is being fueled from extremely strong winds. The damages from the fire are still unknown (burnt homes, or any victims). HellasFrappe will be updating this article as soon as more information and videos are available.


Reference - SKAI, Newsit
- http://www.skai.gr/news/greece/article/286551/megali-purkagia-mainetai-sti-neapoli-lakonias/
- http://www.newsit.gr/ellada/Megali-fotia-sti-Lakonia-Kindyneyoyn-xoria/418132





July 15, 2015

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Tsipras' battles drachma lobby to avoid Grexit, and fights to achieve Greekment - Possible Scenarios



Today is one of the greatest moments in post-dictatorship modern history. Our government has to decide whether or not Greece will go bankrupt and avoid bankruptcy or fall off the cliff and die. As we witness the events unfold, we now finally know who the patriots are who support the will of the people -as well as Greek national interests-, and which groups have a plan to destroy everything we have come to know.

Here is where it really gets funny: All of those who for years suffered political and social criticism are now assisting the government from crumbling. The "German-tsoliades" (or German Greek traditional soldiers) are today giving Tsipras their vote, while his own deputies are playing it safe. These are the very same people who for years suffered brutal attacks on street corners, were insulted, mocked and at times even terrified to step out of their homes. All of this so that Greece does not wither and die; and yet Tsipras does not have the political courage to send all these wannabes to the Tartarus. This is indeed, another shameful page in the history of the Greek left. They are once again, placing the interests of their party over the will of the Greek nation.

At a time when this country’s finances are vulnerable, and the political climate is unstable, Tsipras has to pass legislation that he doesn’t even believe in to avert a Grexit and enter a new agreement with the Troika. His biggest challenge: Dealing with the Radical Left elements within his own party.

The first part of the deal involves passing several measures that are designed to help stabilize Greece and put an end to the prospect of a Grexit. Following this, a government reshuffle is sure to follow since a number of SYRIZA MPs have expressed their opposition to the last-ditch deal (namley Zoi Kostantopoulou, Yianis -with one 'n'- Varoufakis, Panagiotis Lafazanis, Dimitris Stratoulis and Kostas Isihos, etc.) Other SYRIZA MPs. Other MPs who expressed their disagreement have resigned include Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Choundis, Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani and the General Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Network Manos Manousakis.

In fact, dozens of MPs, including senior SYRIZA figures and the government's junior coalition partner, may partially or fully reject the bailout, forcing Tsipras to rely on the  opposition to carry the vote, which is expected a little after midnight on Wednesday.

With this in mind, Tsipras knows that he is quickly losing the 162 seat majority that he holds in the Greek Parliament so there are two scenarios at play at the moment: He will either return to the polls by creating a new government alliance, or he will step down and allow someone else from his party to take the reigns of Greece into their hands.

Protests have so far been relatively mild, but civil servants, pharmacists and protest marches by left wing anti-bailout groups (including extreme far left ANTARSYA and anarchist groups) which are planned for Wednesday night could turn violent.

And if that wasn't enough, 107 members of SYRIZA’s Central Committee, out of a total of 201, have signed a declaration expressing strong opposition to the bailout deal.

Those who will be voting for these measures have already denounced the agreement in advance, even Tsipras himself.

If this climate prevails, then our country will quickly reach another impasse and then, the Grexit will not just be a plan or the desires of some drachma or hard German circles, but a visible reality.

On Tuesday evening, and during a live interview to state broadcaster ERT, Tsipras said that he has the historic responsibility of safely leading Greece out of this current impasse, and an obligation to take all the necessary initiatives to implement this promise. We hope he makes good on his pledge, because the captain of a ship is not just a captain to his inner circle of friends, but of all the passengers on the ship.

Signed
HellasFrappe
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SPECIAL FORCES ON ALERT - Merkel "Orders" Arrest of Well-Known Greek Businessman

Greek special security forces are waiting for the green light to arrest a Greek tycoon with multifarious activities, who despite being prosecuted for a series of criminal acts,  always succeeds to weasel out of being convicted - even buying out politicians at times to wipe his slate clean. The mega-tycoon's name fell the on table on Sunday night in Brussels, by German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself, and he is one of two well known businessmen that are now targeted by Germany.
     "Mr. Tsipras, you tell us that you are determined to stamp out corruption in your country while Mr. ........... (and Mr. .........), who have committed specific criminal acts -such as fraud and tax evasion-, walk about freely, and in many cases come and go undisturbed at the Prime Minister's Mansion under all governments. The restoration of justice in your country is a major issue for us. Please take action in this direction ..."
A report in kourdistoportocali.com says that once Tsipras returned to Athens, he held a secret meeting with Greece's Minister of Public Order, where an in-depth debate was held on the cases that are lingering at Mr. Nikoloudis' office. As such, special security forces -even the use of helicopters- have been placed on alert and are waiting for the green light to arrest one of the two tycoons.

As soon as there are any developments on this story, HellasFrappe will make an update. Please check back later for more.

Reference - http://kourdistoportocali.com/post/45485/megaloepixirimatias

July 14, 2015

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The Drachma Lobby Has Its Man: Yianis (with one "n") Varoufakis

credit kourdistoportocali
For UPDATE please check end of present article

Beginning in 2001 and up until 2009 more than 300 billion euros were removed from Greek banks and transferred to foreign accounts while a further 200 billion was transferred over the last FIVE years. When one takes this into account then one can understand that the drachma lobby -which is rallying for Greece to remove itself from the Eurozone- is very powerful. Most of this money, as most of us already know, has been stolen from the Greek people either through the black market, kickbacks, blackmail, trafficking and other types of corruption. Now the owners of this huge sum of money are seeking a political leader that will allow them to increase these funds by 10-fold by forcing Greece to return to the drachma.

The idea that everything in Greece will be up for sale -at a top notch price- under the drachma is very attractive to the drachma lobby and they have been rubbing their hands with glee and anticipation in order to take advantage of all the state property that will be up for sale once Greece adopts its national currency once more, and a few devaluations have been made.

Most of the holders of these accounts -who are obviously some of the wealthiest families in Greece- had bet on the rise of SYRIZA, and its current leader to materialize their plan. They were actually convinced that with Tsipras at the Maximos Mansion, Greece would once again welcome the drachma in no time. Luckily it did not take long for Tsipras to realize what was at play and he turned his back on them and decided to keep Greece in the eurozone.

According to kourdistoportocali, these people are now focusing on Yianis (with one "n") Varoufakis who we all know loves to be in the spotlight, as well as is a primary example of their bourgeois lifestyle. From what we can see, Yianis (with one 'n') seems to be enjoying this role.

Keep this long intro in mind when reading the latest interview from our Yianis (with one 'n') Varoufakis which was published by the British New Statesman magazine on Monday. In an exclusive report, regarding his short five-month term as finance minister and the negotiations over the Greek debt in Europe, Varoufakis said that the Eurogroup is completely dominated by Germany. According to him, the Greek government was “set up” and he charged the defenders of European "democracy" of lacking from “democratic scruples".

In the interview, he obviously blames Greece's partners for "refusing to negotiate” while he stresses that the insistence on a "comprehensive agreement" was an indication of this unwillingness. In his opinion, Greece’s creditors delayed the negotiations and ultimately forced the government of Alexis Tsipras into a accepting “absolutely impossible, totally non-viable and toxic” proposals.

And here is where it gets juicy.

He confesses that he had a three-pronged plan for the negotiations, which included issuing IOUs, carrying out a haircut of the Greek bonds of 2012 held by the ECB (or announce the intention to do so) and taking control of the Bank of Greece. Varoufakis clarified that the IOUs would act as a transition to a NEW CURRENCY and then admitted that the idea of the IOU was restricted to a small number of government officials but was eventually shot down.

In the interview Varoufakis said that on July 5th, while crowds were celebrating the victory of the "NO" vote, six members of the government were invited to vote on a new project (parallel currency). According to him, only two voted in favor while four voted against, and because he was not able to convince Tsipras... his departure from the government was "inevitable". Before ending the interview, he left it to be understood that he had mapped out his plan to the government but did not find any support.
      "As the crowds were celebrating on Sunday night in Syntagma Square, Syriza’s six-strong inner cabinet held a critical vote. By four votes to two, Varoufakis failed to win support for his plan, and couldn’t convince Tsipras. He had wanted to enact his “triptych” of measures earlier in the week, when the ECB first forced Greek banks to shut. Sunday night was his final attempt. When he lost his departure was inevitable. That very night the government decided that the will of the people, this resounding ‘No’, should not be what energised the energetic approach [Varoufakis' plan]. Instead it should lead to major concessions to the other side: the meeting of the council of political leaders, with our Prime Minister accepting the premise that whatever happens, whatever the other side does, we will never respond in any way that challenges them. And essentially that means folding. … You cease to negotiate.”
     "Varoufakis’s resignation brought an end to a four-and-a-half year partnership with Tsipras, a man he met for the first time in late 2010. An aide to Tsipras had sought him out after his criticisms of George Papandreou’s government, which accepted the first Troika bailout in 2010.
     "He [Tsipras] wasn’t clear back then what his views were, on the drachma versus the euro, on the causes of the crises, and I had very, well shall I say, ‘set views’ on what was going on. A dialogue begun … I believe that I helped shape his views of what should be done.”
     "And yet Tsipras diverged from him at the last. He understands why. Varoufakis could not guarantee that a Grexit would work. After SYRIZA took power in January, a small team had, “in theory, on paper,” been thinking through how it might. But he said that, “I’m not sure we would manage it, because managing the collapse of a monetary union takes a great deal of expertise, and I’m not sure we have it here in Greece without the help of outsiders.”
Connection to Soros?

A post by the birdflu666 blog claims that Varoufakis has continually praised billionaire George Soros' proposals for solving the euro crisis in many of the interviews he had given abroad. According to the author, Varoufakis seems to completely ignore the fact that the billionaire hedge funder has a clear conflict of interest in solving the euro crisis in as far as Soros has had so many opportunities for becoming so very rich from it.

References

UPDATE - George Soros, Jeff Sachs, Tsipras and Varoufakis

credit kourdistoportocali.com

It took the sharp eye of the kourdistoportocali.com team, and a talented photographer, to snap this photo (early June 2015) with Yanis (with one 'n') Varoufakis writing a note to a recipient named Robert Johnson with a message that involves billionaire George Soros, Jeff Sachs, Alexis Tsipras and himself.

Clearly Rob. Let's have this conversation.
The next day, George Soros asked to see Jeff Sachs to ask him to contact my Prime Minister and urge him to pull me away from the government since I am the obstacle to an agreement. Jeff also wanted to tell Alexis that it is his duty to accept any agreement, and to forget the (issue of) debt relief because Europe can not afford to have two open fronts, one in Greece and one in ... Ukraine.


This is what Yanis (with one "n") Varoufakis wrote, as seen in the picture above.

The author of this shocking article on kourdistoportocali notes that he wanted to expose this news because it is clear that Greece is in the center of a global conflict of interests (and at the center of an obvious attack on the Euro).

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Tsipras pushes ahead with measures - SYRIZA MPs revolt - Kammenos to remain in coalition gov't (VIDEOS)


The agreement reached at the marathon Summit on Monday kept our country in the Eurozone and finally put an end to the uncertainty that has plagued us for weeks now. This painful compromise now puts a grand X to the word "Grexit", and gives way to a new word "Greekment". Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who faces many heaps and challenges this week on the domestic front, made the right decision because any other choice would have set back Greece at least 50 years.

While speaking to reporters after the agreement was reached, Tsipras said that the although the decision was difficult, his team managed to avert the transfer of assets to a foreign-based fund, and the credit asphyxiation that was being implemented in Greece.  The Greek Premier also noted that now the burden will be distributed according to social justice and stressed that despite the tough measures, the ‘Grexit’ is a thing of the past. He said that the agreement is going to finally allow Greece to stand up on its two feet and continue fighting for its sovereignty, while he underlined that the Greek crisis "left a significant legacy regarding the necessary changes throughout Europe”.

While the PM conceded that the measures are going to create recessionary tendencies and are certainly going to be difficult to implement, he expressed the optimism that with financial stability, there will be a prospect of recovery. Over the next few days, Tsipras has to take a number of initiatives in order to secure the 85-billion euro loan.

It should be reminded that a number of laws must be passed through Greek Parliament by Wednesday so that the bailout deal can be sealed. This might sound simple, but given the present political situation Tsipras is going to have a tough time passing these laws because there are far too many SYRIZA and ANEL MPs who openly opposed the measures.

One of the key figures expected to jeopardize the procedures is none other than President of Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou. Her stance over the last few days and opposition allowed rumors to circulate in the press about a possible motion of no confidence from 151 MPs. Even if this motion was held in order to remove her from her post, Konstantopoulou made it clear on Monday that she will not step down. (Marxism at its best!)

Tsipras' greatest headache, however, will come from SYRIZA’s Left Platform which openly refuses to vote on the policies.  Knowing that he is up for a tough challenge,  Tsipras held a series of meetings with a selection of SYRIZA MPs on Monday night to come up with a plan to sway his party's Left Platform to accept the measures.


SYRIZA MPs Numb, Leftist Platform send warning to Tsipras

Reports claim that at least 32 SYRIZA MPs, mostly from SYRIZA's extreme leftist wing, are viewed as negative towards the final agreement. (The MPs include four ministers, that have, one way or another, distanced themselves from the government's actions.) As such, SYRIZA's parliamentary group would meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the bailout deal as well as analyze what will happen with these rebel MPs. There have been calls for them to resign.

On Monday, SYRIZA's Leftist Platform denounced the bailout agreement. More exactly, the agreement has caused major uproar in SYRIZA, with the head of the Left Platform and Minister of Productive Reconstruction Panagiotis Lafazanis urging the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to withdraw the agreement. In a statement, Lafazanis argued that the agreement is unacceptable and underlined that Greece’s partners, particularly the German leadership, treated Greece as if it were a colony. The Productive Reconstruction Minister called Greece’s partners “brutal blackmailers and financial assassins”. He concluded his statement by saying that Greece had and still has an alternative to the agreement and claimed that the dilemma posed by the creditors – agree or face catastrophe – was false, terroristic and against the people’s will, as expressed in the recent referendum, which was an overwhelming no to further austerity. Although he appears unwilling to resign voluntarily, sources suggest he will step down if the is asked to do so by the Prime Minister.

Lafazanis however is not the only SYRIZA MP or Minister to express objections to the agreement. During last Friday’s vote in Parliament, Alternate Minister of Social Insurance Dimitris Stratoulis also voted "present".

On the other hand, Alternate Minister of European Affairs Nikos Hountis resigned from his cabinet position and as a Member of Parliament. Hountis was amongst those who said that they would not support the agreement if it includes further austerity measures.

On his part, SYRIZA parliamentary group spokesman Nikos Filis sent a warning to MPs who want to vote against the deal reached with the country's creditors claiming that they are, in effect, aligning themselves with the "coup plotters" from abroad who do not want a left-wing government to last.
     "Wasn't what happened in Brussels a coup? What happened? Didn't they say, either this deal or we take Greeks' deposits and the banks go bankrupt? The government came under threat from economic and political forces that do not forgive the Greek people for making a different choice. I think that, often, we facilitate these plans. We cannot end with a left interregnum with the complicity of people of the left," Filis told reporters in front of the Greek Parliament.
Whereas Minister of Interior Nikos Voutsis told journalists that the “pressure verged on a coup”. Nonetheless he made it clear that everyone in his party is going to be permitted to express their opinion and their final decision will determine the future of the present government.

Speaking on ERT channel, Minister of Labor Panos Skourletis estimated that there will either be early general elections within 2015, or a special purpose government may be formed. The Minister underlined that the government’s majority in Parliament was at stake and as such, either general elections would be called later on this year, or a unity government would be formed, with the support of opposition parties, so that the agreement is implemented.
     “Europe is punishing us. We are not trying to make the deal look better, we are clearly saying it: this agreement does not represent us. I cannot easily accuse anyone who cannot agree to this agreement” he noted, before calling all government MPs who voted against Friday’s measures in parliament to resign.
When asked about the consequences of a possible "Grexit"’, he said that although Greek citizens are being forced into a violent impoverization, geopolitical issues could arise.

And if that wasn't enough, Minister of Health Panagiotis Kouroumplis expressed his frustration on Monday at four pharmaceutical companies for indirectly contributing towards a medicine shortage in Greece. The reports that there were shortages in medicines -and which some said were fear-mongering tactics prior to the referendum- are not only true, they are endangering the lives of countless people in Greece who are in need of these products. Kouroumplis said that the four companies in question supplied small quantities of specific medications in the Greek market during the crisis, and sent out a warning that he will impose harsh measures, should this practice continue.

From what we learn, Tsipras is not concentrated at the moment on making any changes within his party (such as the expulsion of those opposed the deal with creditors) and it is believed that he is not going to hold a cabinet reshuffle for the time being. This of course will change after the deal is sealed.


What will Kammenos do?

On his part, coalition partner and Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, said that he was opposed to the deal but that his party will remain in the coalition. He stressed that he will continue to support the government and said that Europe aims to overthrow the government. Kammenos said that Tsipras was a victim of blackmail and that his party will "not allow the overthrow of the government”. He also underlined that ANEL is only going to vote on the measures that were agreed during the meeting of the political leaders last Friday.

PROTESTS PROTESTS PROTESTS

The measures which will take away many privileges that civil servants have, as well as tax them for their astronomical wages was not received well by Greece's unions who over the past four decades have manipulated all governments to protect their interests.

As such, the trade union representing all public servants, ADEDY, called for a 24 hour strike on Wednesday when the bailout bills are going to be debated and voted in the Greek parliament. According to an announcement, workers in local authorities and pharmacists will also join the strike. In a statement that was released on Tuesday, ADEDY blasts the new bailout agreement, calls for the unilateral cancellation of debt and vows to continue the struggle every day on the streets.

On Monday night, The first “post-Greekment” protest was held outside of the Greek Parliament by some 400 participants from the extreme left and out-of-Parliament ANTARSYA party. Other groups that participated, included public workers’ groups, student unions and even members of ruling SYRIZA’s youth wing.

So what are the measures?

There has been a lot of talk about the prerequisites that have to be voted on by Wednesday night. So we have made it as simple as possible for you. The government is going to table a bill titled “Emergency Measures for the Negotiation and Agreement With the European Stability Mechanism  (ESM)”. This has two distinct chapters.

Chapter A (Article 1) contains the text of the Euro Summit Statement on Greece, which the Greek Parliament is called upon to approve.

Chapter B (Articles 2-3) deals with taxation and the Hellenic Statistics Authority (ELSTAT).

Article 2
  • - enumerates in detail the goods which are exempted from the 23% Value Added Tax (VAT) rate. (There are two lower rates, 13% and 6%. Electricity bills, hotel stays and many foodstuffs are taxed at 13% and medicines and books at 6%, among other goods.)
  • - Company tax has two bands, 29% for companies with profits up to €50,000 and 33% for those with higher profits.
  • - On islands with a resident (non-transient) population of OVER 4,100 inhabitants, cash transactions are limited to €70.
There are also clauses concerning:
  • - tax avoidance
  • - taxation of “luxury items” such as big cars, planes, helicopters, boats and pools
  • - and there is a “special solidarity contribution” that concerns annual incomes exceeding 30,000 euros.

Article 3
  • - details changes in the governance of the Hellenic Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) to enhance its independence from the government, as the creditors have demanded.
Chapter C (Articles 4-6) deals with pensions and social security.

Article 4
  • - abolishes, in stages from July 1, 2015, to the end of 2022, all early retirement , with the exception of “heavy and arduous professions” and mothers with incapacitated children. All others will be able to retire either at 67 or 62, if they have 40 years of employment by then.
Article 5
  • - merges all supplementary pension funds into one, retroactively from January 1, 2015
  • - freezes state funding of pension funds at 2015 levels until 2021
  • - and increases pensioners’ contribution to their medical expenses from 4% of the pension to 6%, from July 1, 2015.
Article 6
  • - is a technical provision giving the Labor Ministry the means to regulate the provisions in this law concerning him.

Editor's Note - The tragic mistakes that were made by the SYRIZA party over the last few months, and the catastrophic contribution of Yianis (with one 'n') Varoufakis, dramatically exacerbated Greece’s economy. All this made it all the more difficult to reach the necessary agreement and whoever denies this fact is lying through their teeth. Thankfully Alexis Tsipras finally realized that his responsibility is to Greece and all the Greek people first and then to his party and its supporters, because he is not a prime minister to his party, but the leader of all the Greek people. If all the reforms are implemented quickly then the consequences will be restricted and stability will once again finally be restored. We already know that this country needs major reforms and its citizens deserve to finally be told the truth without any sugarcoating, populist and petty political jargon. Costas Karamanlis attempted to do this in 2009 during his speech at a rally in Thessaloniki, but he was outweighed by the "Money Exists" George Papandreou who promised the moon and the stars to a population of people who for the past four decades do not want to hear the truth. What everyone needs to realize is that many sacrifices have been wasted since 2009 because every leader since Karamanlis has not dared to tell it like it is in fear of losing voter support. Power is a drug after all. The bottom line is, that we need to make radically make changes to the operation of this country so that we are not placed in this position again. We need to alter things because we do not want to have a Memorandum looming over our heads for survival. The does not build our levels of pride Frappers... it crumbles it. Our pride will only be restored again when we implement the reforms so that we rid our country of the cancers that caused it to be ill to begin with! If we just ignore the problems, not implement the changes and go on with business as usual we will be in the same state in no time again. This is what needs to be noted by all. Tsipras may have this country's reigns in his hands, as do our political forces, but we the people also need to face up to our responsibilities in its restoration.

References - SKAI Tv, ERT Tv, YouTube, Reuters, MEGA Tv, ANT1 tv, Kathimerini, Enikos, ProtoThema, The Guardian, Politico




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