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May 22, 2015

UEFA puts end to possible soccer “Grexit” scenario

The European soccer administration UEFA apparently placed an end to scenarios of expelling the Greek soccer federation from its competitions (a so-called “soccer Grexit”), over a controversial sports bill, which aims at confronting violence in sports.

In a letter to Greece's Deputy Minister of Sports, Stavros Kontonis, General Secretary Giannis Infantino notes that “UEFA is ready to assist with respect to any further revision of the Greek sports legislation”. According to reports, Infantino offered support to the Greek Minister and suggested that representatives from FIFA and EPO participate in relevant meetings.

Commenting on the letter, Kontonis said it refutes recent talks of a Greek expulsion from international soccer and that he was pleased with this development. He also praised UEFA for offering assistance to Greek authorities on sports legislation.


May 21, 2015

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OPINION: Greek Debt Chaos - 200 negotiators diagnosed as Aplomb-Positive

By John Ward (The Slog) - Fulfilling the suspicions of many concerned observers around the world, 188 negotiators have been admitted to an exclusive Zurich clinic suffering from APLOMB – Acute Plot-Lost Overloaded Memory Banks syndrome. Jean-Claude Drunker confirmed on Thursday morning that he no longer knew whether the negotiation was about borrowing money, not wanting money, running out of money or demands for German alimony but cheers anyway, first of the day by God I needed that.

In a dramatic move on Wednesday night, Greek and EU negotiators checked themselves en masse into a private Swiss memory clinic. Sources revealed soon afterwards that all the negotiating teams were in a confused state “and decided to get help with a view to working out what the f****k is going on, who said what, and where the f****k we are as of now”. As the officials, politicians and translation staff ran to 188 people – all of whom had crossed eyes and a headache – the Zurich-based Clinic for Tangled Web Removal had to devote an entire floor to the case.

Later, a Mr Verdefookarsis commented:
     “We seem to be in disagreement about which wall we have hit and why the wall is there. I read on the Bloomberg site that the wall might fall on us as it was prefabricated in China but I couldn’t be certain.”
In turn, a Frau Mirakle from Berlin told reporters:
     “I realised I had a problem when I had to ask my Foreign Affairs minister who this person was ringing me every day from Athens speaking ropey Italian to me. When I asked who he was, the gentleman replied, “I was about to ask you the same question”.
The nuisance caller has since been identified as Alexicon Shiprat, a former unemployed politician and Hell’s Angel who has also checked into the Swiss clinic. Offered a private room, Mr Shiprat said “I’d rather be left on a filthy trolley in a draughty corridor if you don’t mind, but I’ve lost my mind somewhere so I can’t remember why.”

Locked in a high-security wing are two FinMin Eurogroupe Netherdeutsch Commission Troika prongs, Herr Wolfpack Bauble and Jeremiah Fizzlebang. Doctors engaged in their treatment have confirmed that Herr Bauble has no feeling in his legs, or his heart, while Mr Fizzlebang insists that he will defend the zip on his purse to the end, leaving the last bullet for himself.

Another patient wandering about in a catatonic state and a delightfully sequinned full length dress gave his name variously at different times as Mario Goldman, Alfonse Capone and Marion Dracula. Other patients confirm his/her compulsive repetition of the words, “Issall a verrree simples. You kissa my arse or I measure you forra de cement overshoes, cappiche?”

Head consultant at the clinic Jean-Claude Cliche told a press conference:
     “What we see here is something as yet still very rare, but showing all the signs of a potential pandemic. It is what happens when two magnetically negative groups of people try to reach an agreement using the two complementary strategies of game theory and media leaks, but keep repelling each other. It is my theory that leaks in the game theory generator infected the media with false realities, causing the various teams to suffer toxic brain-meltdown after reading completely contradictory accounts 24/7 during a ten week period.
     “The brain damage has been exacerbated by the what we doctors call Acute Sidelining Syndrome, or ASS. This is where several asses are moved from a hole at the centre, and then swapped with others on the periphery. The unfortunate result is that everyone sees everyone else as a potential asshole, but with no importance hierarchy to guide them”.
Dr Cliche is urging all those potentially affected in the media to come forward and make themselves known.
     “We are especially concerned,” he said, “about a Mr Hugo Dixon at Reuters, and Ambrose Evan-Elpus at the Daily Telegraph. The staff of the Guardian, the New York Times, the Daily Mail and Bild Zeitung are in turn displaying tertiary symptoms of refusing to recognise the chaos and making daily predictions of certainty about which they later appear to be uncertain.”
Meanwhile, the European Centrifugal Plank issued a statement saying that pressure on Greek banks would be relaxed, but this is the fifth to last time they would do this “otherwise Greece would default on its Grexit and become a public health danger and there is no Plan C because there is no Plan B please help me I am the real Jack the Ripper but I can’t stop myself”.

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GEOPOLITICS: Russia Turkey and the New Greek Sirtaki

According to geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl, the European Union has an uncanny knack for shooting itself in the foot. He claims that under strong pressure from a Russo-phobic Washington administration and various Russo-phobic EU governments, Brussels decided to take steps in 2014 to block the bilateral agreements between Russia’s state Gazprom and EU countries such as Greece and Bulgaria to buy gas from a new Russian pipeline that was to have been called South Stream, the southern counterpart to the Gazprom-Germany North Stream line.

F. William Engdahl (NEO) - For the neoconservatives in the Obama State Department and Pentagon, that would have forged far too strong EU-Russia economic ties that would significantly weaken America’s ability to blackmail the EU. The EU Commission is brazenly violating all legal precepts by trying to enforce, retroactively, new laws that they claim Gazprom has violated. Further they forced the weak government of Bulgaria last year to back out of their Gazprom contract.

Washington’s Russo-phobes were gloating as they fantasized about getting a nuclear deal with Russia’s ally Iran that could woo Teheran to double-cross Moscow and sell Iranian gas from South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, via another pipeline through to Iran’s city of Bazargan at the border with Turkey where it would transit Turkey on to Greece and Italy.

Unlike the failed US Nabucco gas project which lacked gas, the Persian Pipeline, were Iran to be foolish enough to let Washington control it, would have gas, lots of it to weaken Russia’s hold on EU gas markets that were previously supplied via Gazprom via older Ukraine pipelines.

Putin calls EU bluff

As we noted at the time last December, Russian President Vladimir Putin caught the EU by surprise when he announced cancellation of the South Stream Gazprom EU project during a visit in Turkey with President Erdogan. There Putin proposed instead an alternative that would pipe Russia’s gas through Turkey to the door of EU member Greece. There different EU states could “take it or leave it.” The advantage for Gazprom and Russia is that they would not be responsible for construction of the needed EU pipelines.

When he announced the decision, he stated bluntly, “If Europe doesn’t want to realize this, then it means it won’t be realized. We will redirect the flow of our energy resources to other regions of the world. We couldn’t get necessary permissions from Bulgaria, so we cannot continue with the project. We can’t make all the investment just to be stopped at the Bulgarian border. Of course, this is the choice of our friends in Europe.” South Stream would have provided secure delivery to southern EU countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Croatia and also Serbia. It would avoid the current transit pipelines running through Ukraine.

Now less than six months later Russia and Turkey have completed the landmark deal to begin deliveries of Gazprom Russian gas via a new “Turkish Stream” pipeline into and across Turkey through a pipeline now in construction. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller announced on May 7 that, “An agreement has been made on the beginning of exploitation and deliveries of [Russian] gas along the Turkish Stream in December 2016.” The statement came following Miller’s meeting earlier in the day with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız. The new pipeline will travel through Turkey to a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border for further distribution to European customers.

A geopolitical cherry on top

And only minutes after the successful Russia-Turkish agreement, Putin, reported to be a master chess player, made a master geopolitical chess move into the European Union disaster that is called the Eurozone.

Greek news outlet, Capital.gr, reported that the very same day Miller’s Turkey Gazprom deal was finalized, Putin had an apparently very cordial phone chat with Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. After the talk, Putin’s office released a statement that Putin had told Tsipras that Russia would be willing to extend money to Greece in return for Greek participation in the Turkish Stream project into the EU. The Kremlin statement said, “In that context, the Russian side confirmed its willingness to consider the issue of extending financing to state and private companies that will cooperate in the project.”
    In Tsipras’ April 8 meeting with Putin Russia denied it had made a deal on energy; that all changed on May 7 after Turkey finalized Turkish Stream
After Tsipras’ talks with Putin in Moscow on April 8, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, issued a denial of Der Spiegel reports that the two had come to an agreement in which Moscow would advance the cash-desperate Greek government with an immediate €5 billion cash advance from Russia based on expected future profits linked to the pipeline. The Greek energy minister said at the time that Athens would repay Moscow after 2019, when the pipeline is expected to start operating.

That was on April 8. Flash forward to May 7 and the finalization of the Russia-Turkish Stream deal, and it seems now that there is also a Russia-Greece deal to advance Athens the sizeable cash sum, just before Athens must come up with large sums to repay IMF and EU loans in order to get more senseless EU and ECB “support.” The difference was clearly the finalization of the Turkish Stream. Now EU bureaucrats in Brussels have new gas pains as Putin puts a Greek cherry atop Moscow’s Turkish geopolitical deal on gas.

If the Russia cash advance to Tsipras comes to pass, not only will Athens be able to dance a Sirtaki. This time it will be a dance in which the role of Zorba is played by a Russian, Vladimir Putin, not the Mexican, Anthony Quinn.

Wolfgang Schaüble, Angela Merkel, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker all will have three options. They can decide to stand on the sidelines and clap to the sensuous rhythms of the new Sirtaki. They can join in the dance by refusing Washington blackmail on renewing EU economic sanctions against Russia. Or they can go on to boycott the dance and sink deeper into a new crisis of the Euro.

The ongoing panic selloff in German bond markets over recent days suggests it might be wise for the Berlin government to consider an entire new choreography for its European Grand Strategy. The old Atlantic NATO dance is rapidly becoming a Danse Macabre for Germany and for Europe. Putin’s Sirtaki would be far more fun for Europe and the world.

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




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Russians still interested in acquiring privatised Greek rail companies

Russian Railways (PZD) are still in talks with the Greek government on the possibility of submitting bids in the privatisation of related Greek state companies, Russia's railway boss Vladimir Yakunin said earlier this week. Talking to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation - a sort of alternative "Parliament of experts" - Yakunin was quoted by Th. Avgerinos from ANA-MPA as saying that these companies included the Greek trains operator TRAINOSE, the rolling stock repair and maintenance company ROSCO and the port of Thessaloniki.

Yakunin stressed that "nothing had gone quiet" and that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had requested a meeting with him during his recent visit to Moscow, during which he indicated that the Greek side was also interested in such cooperation.
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Greece's waters of 'excellent quality'

"The quality of water in Greece's seas and lakes is known and constitutes a competitive advantage of the country," Alternate Environment Minister Yiannis Tsironis said.

From the 1540 bathing waters, 1518 were assessed, as 22 points were monitored for the first time in 2014. The new points have not been evaluated for 2014 since the minimum number of samples required by the Directive has not yet been collected. However, from the initial results of 2014 it is evident that the concentrations of microbiological parameters remain below the respective criteria values of excellent quality. For the remaining 1518 bathing waters, the classification results are the following report:

  • - 1495 bathing waters are classified as "excellent quality". One of them are located in inland waters and the 1494 in coastal waters.
  • - 23 bathing waters are classified as "good quality", one of which is located in inland waters and 22 in coastal waters.
  • - None of bathing waters was classified as "sufficient quality".
  • - None of bathing waters was classified as "poor quality".

     "It is everyone's care and obligation - the state and the citizens - to continuously protect our seas and coasts in the best possible way. It is up to us to maintain the quality of our waters forever," Tsironis added.
Bathing water quality for the year 2014 was monitored and assessed in the framework of the Monitoring Programme of Bathing Water Quality that was implemented under the supervision of the Special Secretariat for Water of the Ministry of Reconstruction of production, Environment and Energy.

ANA/MPA

Naxos: Experts find existence of Neaderthals on the island

According to new research in Stelida, Neaderthals existed on Naxos island, three km northwest of the capital, at a very developed tourist area. Press reports on Thursday claimed that the Canadian Institute in cooperation with Antiquities Ephorate of Cyclades conducted an excavation in the area which brought into the limelight a series of objects that certify the existence of early humans in the area up to 260,000 ago.

The majority of finds, located on the surface during the 2013 research, were mostly carved stones while a quantity of emery was found (a material that is widely found on the island but not at Stelida). The ceramics found in the area are very rare and are rather from a later era.

According to a dispatch from the state news agency, the Central Archaeological Council approved the five-year programme for the continuation of the research that will focus on the dating of the finds that changes the prehistoric data on Cyclades.

Until recently, the archaeologists believed that the human activity on the islands started very later, approximately in the 5th millenium B.C while only in 1981 with the discovery of Stelida emerged the possibility of an earlier dating.

The new programme has multiple targets. One of them is the dating of the site with the use of scientific technics in order to clarify when the early humans migrated to Europe through the Aegean basin and if this migration was realised through the sea. Moreover, an in detail analysis of the artifacts will take place and the relations of the early humans, meaning the Neaderthals and the Homo Sapiens, will be examined.


May 20, 2015

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EDITORIAL: Greeks did not vote for uncertainty Mr. Tsipras, but rather for stability!

Time is ticking and more and people are starting to realize that the "change" that they wanted and voted for on January 25th has instead given way to much more uncertainty and insecurity. Negotiations with Greece's creditors are never ending, red lines fade only to reappear,  the recession is suddenly returning, the economy is frozen, consumption is clearly retreating, more private sector jobs are being lost, investments are being abandoned, activities are on the decline and tourism may be on the rise but with the surge of illegal immigration into our country this too will soon be under threat. While the government is straining every available resource to pay wages and pensions, the majority of the public that works in the private sector, and which has been the most affected by this six-year recession is either not being paid, and if they are receiving any money at all it is months later seeing that there is no liquidity on the market. In addition to this, our national issues are in the air, we have upset both the east and the west, anarchists are destroying public infrastructure and causing havoc all over the country, our borders are being compromised because the government believes in open borders, our education system is being set back at least 30 years by being politicized and the public sector is returning to a system that we all condemned. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras knows this, but he also knows that he cannot delay with reforms much longer because our nation is literally one inch from completely crashing.

When the SYRIZA-ANEL government rose to power on January 25th, HellasFrappe had published a special report noting that it would limit its criticism of the new government until negotiations with our creditors ended, but there is a limit to everything. When we made this statement we had also stressed that any decision/action that was taken by the present government which was positive for Greece would be applauded by us (and we proved this with many of the articles that have been posted on this blog). Nonetheless, we also warned that if we felt that Greece was heading towards total destruction we would immediately ignore the honeymoon and grace period and begin stating our opinion!

Time is up; and we are up to here with all this insecurity and uncertainty.

Here are some areas that are deeply concerning to us.

ECONOMY

The new government has wasted almost three months in endless negotiations with Greece's creditors, following all its anti-memorandum rhetoric. In our opinion, its decision to extend the negotiations for two and a half months caused a resurgence of insecurity, and has more or less wiped away what trust had been built by the previous government of Antonis Samaras.

Let us make it clear, we are not claiming that the conservative government did a better job at managing this country's finances, but certainly no one can deny that the (international economic) mood was starting to change under ND's rule and things were starting to stabilize once again.

In other areas, the vice grip on liquidity has tightened, the funding gap was revealed and all remaining resources had to be pooled in the State's account at the Bank of Greece, in order to pay the loan payments to avoid another possible disorderly default that would in no doubt have caused catastrophic consequences for our nation.

In the real economy things are not only completely in the air but they have worsened to dangerous levels. Aside from a lack of funding from the banks, Greece now has a suspension of financial decisions from taxpayers, households, investors and businesses.

Why?

Simple, because many of those who voted for the new government, also voted for their past do not pay rhetoric.

And if that wasn't enough, some financial newspapers are even speaking of a new recession which they claim began in the first three months of this year and is now expected to cripple the last bits of the economy that withstood the long six year recession which the previous government was painfully getting us out of.

Only a handful of MPs in the government know exactly what is going on because they have finally come in tune with REALITY, but there are still too many forces in SYRIZA whose mental state forces science to lift its hands in the air.

SYRIZA may have won the elections with promises of a recovery, of tearing up the memorandums and blah blah, blah... but haven't they realized that this cannot happen? What will it take for these people to wake up and smell the coffee?

Today Greece only has a couple of days to come to an agreement or basically die.

Alexis Tsipras is obliged to do everything in his power to save the country from total destruction and forget about impressing a few members in his party who are clearly clueless of what the best interests of Greece actually are.

POLITICAL INSTABILITY

It is entertaining to watch various ministers in this Leftist government make proclamations one day which are then recalled by the senior administration the very same day! At the same time it is also quite pitiful because these officials insist on playing games of self-assertion, while ignoring the consequences of their words. They forget that Tsipras did not win the elections simply because he won the progressive vote, but because he also received quite a bit of support from many conservatives as well. It is almost like milking a stone for water, getting the extreme left-wing of SYRIZA to understand this is almost impossible. All of this of course is beginning to take affect public opinion. Indeed, the SYRIZA-ANEL party is still leading over the main opposition New Democracy party, but with all this uncertainty the general mood will give way to dire repercussions sooner or later.

Over the past few months, we have witnessed ministers and institutional officers stating whatever they think benefits their political clientele, even though their decisions come into direct conflict with the interests of Greece. Some metaphorically threatened our creditors that we would export jihadists all over Europe, others said they believed that it was compatible to not pay our creditors (or one or two installments), and others are busying themselves with a mechanism on how to not pay the burdensome debt.

If it was that simple... Then wouldn't have this already have happened? Is this the image that Greece really wants to give the world?

It is our opinion here at HellasFrappe that some ministers in this government have not yet understood that they are not in the opposition anymore (where they stated whatever they wanted without consequence). The confusion does not only exist in their public appearance but also in the government’s negotiation tactics and it’s day-to-day management tactics, which is also raising a few eyebrows as well. For instance, we find it totally absurd for a Minister to state in the morning that he is 400 million euros short to pay wages and pensions, only to listen to a statement by the same minister two hours later claiming that he retracted his statement and the money was found. Is this just mere naivety and inexperience? It could probably be, but it is also very destabilising and we hope they understand that the Greek people cannot bear anymore wise and cheap talk. If you are going to make an official statement, make sure that all your facts are straight from the beginning!

DOMESTIC FRONT

On the domestic front, anarchists freely vandalize the walls outside parliament, invade the Polytechnic and spread chaos in the area of Exarchia. Everywhere these hooligans go they threaten and burn public property without ever taking into consideration that these damages will be later paid by the majority of Greek taxpayers. Leftists feel so overwhelmed by their beliefs, that they feel that they have to destroy buildings, concrete, marble statues, set fire to private property, etc to get their point across. Excuse us... But what ever happened to COMMUNICATION?

Luckily for us we live in an era that freely allows us to communicate to anyone and everyone in numerous ways. Why do they feel that they need to destroy public property to do so?

Then there is the issue of our police forces. Their powers have been limited since SYRIZA came to power and from what we know are now forced to observe from a distance, and only act on orders (as with most officers,) but we all know these orders never come. Neither Greece’s major problems, nor the social problems that emerge on a daily basis can wait for the new SYRIZA-ANEL government to mature and assume its responsibilities.

EDUCATION

Ah yes education. Once more this institution is falling prey to political and partisan expediencies. Before the latest law for the universities could be tested out in practice, SYRIZA's new Minister of Education decided to knock it down, and totally change the university entry system. Without dialogue, basic coordination or debate, he devised a new set of reforms that does not seek solutions and improvements, but a return to the past.

In simple terms, University Councils are being abolished, students will vote for Rectors, the academic asylum is changing again and the “eternal students” are once again making their comeback. Three decades or so after unionism was introduced in higher education, which established a state of populism and transaction that belittles the operation of the universities, this country is literally returning to the same model all thanks to a (Stalinistic) stance on modern education.

Instead of finding ways to improve our education system by closely examining how top institutions operate abroad, we are quite laughably returning to an old world of operation which we here at HellasFrappe feel undermines the education process itself. We are not alone, aside from the students who object to this, and their parents, tens of hundreds of academics from all over Greece and abroad have already requested for the Councils and new management to not be abolished, until their operation can be assessed but SYRIZA's Education Minister ignored all this and decided to adopt the opinions of a section of the union bodies of students and administrative staff.

At a time when everyone knows - and given the situation the country is in - that the greatest investment Greece can make is in its production capacity, knowledge and education, this new government is overturning any attempt to rationalize education. It is ignoring THREE DECADES of experience in the operation and management of universities and restoring a problematic model, in order to serve political consideration.

And we ask: Is this the way to move forward?

CONCLUSION

Frappers, these were just some of our concerns. There are so many more that deal with foreign relations and geopolitical issues but we are going to produce a separate report on that over the next few days.

All we want is for this cheap rhetoric to end. With Greece literally on the brink of total destruction, Tsipras who we feel can make a great leader needs to ignore the buffoons in his party, put some order to their endless parade of statements and bring back some stability to this country.

Did he or did he not promise us the Greek people a better and more efficient government?  If yes then he has to first end this war of statements and impressions – which we all know are primarily intended for domestic consumption – . Greece's salvation is paramount. There is no more time for delays and sensationalism. Decisions have to be made that will balance the general interest of the country and the people.

We had warned everyone about this before the elections. As it would seem, the Greek people had to experience SYRIZA’s reality in order to understand the gravity and complexity of Greece’s financial and political problems. It is time for logic understanding and low tones to prevail.

There cannot be a more recession-causing policy for the Greek economy than extending today’s uncertainty… Everything else is about fairy tales for gullible fans, who will be fewer and far between as time goes on. To overturn the situation the SYRIZA-ANEL government must finally assume its responsibilities towards the country and the people. There is no other way.

Signed
HellasFrappe



May 19, 2015

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Eurovision Contest: Maria Elena Kyriakou Represents Greece with "One Last Breath" Tonight! (VIDEOS)

At this year's Eurovision song contest, Greece is going to be represented by Maria Elena Kyriakou, the winner of the 2014 The Voice reality song contest show. Maria Elena is going to perform a song titled "One Last Breath", which she co-wrote with Efthivoulos Theocharous. The lyrics of this incredible ballad were composed by Vangelis Konstantinidis and Evelina Tziora.

The first semi-final of the Eurovision song contest is scheduled to begin tonight at the Stadhalle in Vienna and scheduled to be broadcasted by Greece's public television network NERIT, the second semi-final is scheduled for Thursday, while the grand final will be held on Saturday.

Some 27 countries are set to participate in the final on Saturday night. Europeans will get an opportunity to vote for twenty finalists in the two semi-finals (ten on Tuesday, and ten on Thursday) while the “Big Five” -consisting of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom-, do not have to go through the process of the semi-finals (as with everything else in Europe these countries are always less likely to struggle). Moreover, Austria which is the host country does not have to go through the process of the semi-finals as does the honorary participant for this year which is Australia.

Here is Maria-Elena performing Greece's entry for this year's contest, and HellasFrappe has also included a video of one of her performances in the 2014 "The Voice" music reality, as well as a video where she performed at the MAD walk show which recently presented Greece's fashion gurus. In our opinion, she is Greece's mix of Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson.

Good luck Maria-Elena and good luck to our pics: Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Russia, Serbia, Israel and Romania.



May 18, 2015

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ENERGY - US urges Greece to abandon Russian pipeline project

The US is urging Greece to drop the idea of hosting a controversial Russian pipeline project, arguing the Turkish Stream pipeline running across the Black Sea to Greece would end up harming Greek and European interests — but Greece is resisting. Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s special energy envoy, said Athens should instead promote the Southern Gas Corridor project aimed at bringing Caspian gas to Europe via Turkey and the planned Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP), rather than deepening Greece’s dependency on Russian energy.

The US said it was concerned that Athens’ consideration of an extension of the Moscow-backed Turkish Stream pipeline will not increase energy diversification, may be of concern to EU competition authorities, and is not a long-term solution to Greece’s energy needs.

Instead, the EU-backed Southern Gas Corridor project would bring much-needed cash and jobs. According to the embassy statement, “TAP will result in €1.5 billion in foreign investment in Greece, generate 10,000 jobs during construction, and provide many millions of euros in revenue annually over 25 years.” But after the recent meeting with the US official, Greek Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis said his government would continue to back Turkish Stream, “because we think it will be useful for our country.”

Cash-strapped Greece, backed against the wall by its international creditors and on the look-out for revenue, has intensified relations with Russia in the past months, a move that has been watched by Brussels and Washington with growing concern.

Alexei Miller, chief of Russian energy giant Gazprom, recently announced that his company would start building Turkish Stream and that gas would flow to Turkey by December 2016.

Brussels has been skeptical of the pipeline’s commercial viability. Many experts share this view.

According to Laszlo Varro of the International Energy Agency, Gazprom is in no position to undertake large new investment projects in 2015.

While 2013 saw record profits for the company, in 2015 the “idea that Gazprom will be able to finance large new infrastructure investments in South Eastern Europe has zero credibility in our view,” he said at a Brussels conference.

References: OCC247, Politico.eu



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GEOPOLITICS: Bosnia was a magnet for foreign mujahedeen, but now it exports them! (VIDEO)

credit youtube
According to this geopolitical analyst, Bosnia was once a magnet for foreign jihadists during its 1990s war, while today the nation is more or less grappling with the threat from home-grown extremists wooed by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

by Rusmir Smajilhodzic (RIMSE) - While most Bosnian Muslims are moderates, a few thousand have adopted the ultraconservative Salafist brand of Sunni Islam introduced by the fighters who flocked to Bosnia from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia during the 1992-1995 conflict between Serbs, Muslims and Croats.

Most of those foreign fighters, or "mujahedeen", left Bosnia when the war ended.

But the seed had already been sown. Twenty years on, the radical preachers giving fiery sermons in "mesdzids", or improvised prayer halls, are no longer foreigners.

Those taking up arms are also local men.

On Monday, a gunman shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) opened fire on a police station in the eastern town of Zvornik, killing one officer and wounding two others before being killed in a shootout.

The assailant, identified as 24-year-old Nerdin Ibric from a village near the northeastern town of Zvornik, was suspected of links to radical Islamist groups. Another man, said to have travelled to Syria, was arrested Tuesday over the attack.

Suspected Islamist extremists had made their presence felt before in the Balkan country.

In October 2011, a gunman opened fire on the US embassy in Sarajevo, wounding a policeman before being injured himself and arrested.

In June of the previous year, a man set off an explosive device at a police station in the central town of Bugojno, killing one officer and wounding six others in what the government called a "terrorist act".

Prayer room recruitment

Would-be jihadists are suspected of being recruited by radical preachers, operating through a network of informal prayer rooms.
     "There is no doubt that the recruitment process is possible due to the existence of a network of such places of worship," Esad Hecimovic, a local journalist who has reported extensively on the subject told AFP.
Hardliners, whose numbers are estimated by the authorities at around 3,000 followers, represent just a fraction of Bosnian Muslims, who make up around 40 per cent of the population of 3.8 million.

But their ranks are suspecting of supplying scores of fighters to the wars in the Middle East.

Terrorism spreading

Reacting to the attack on the police station in Zvornik Security Minister Dragan Mektic warned terrorism had become "a serious problem".
     "We need to use all our capacity to stop this terrorism that has been spreading in Bosnia," he said.
     "Either we defeat terrorism or it will defeat us."
Some 150 Bosnians are believed to have joined jihadists groups in Iraq and Syria, while some 50 others have already been and returned from the battlefield, according to the intelligence services.

Two men arrested at Sarajevo airport in February were charged with attempting to join the Islamic State group, which has sown terror throughout the Middle East and North Africa and executed several Western hostages.
     "Those who return to the country are very dangerous. They are of course under surveillance but the danger is that they start to recruit others," said Jasmin Ahic, a professor at the Sarajevo University Faculty of Criminology.
Stiff sentences

To prevent their departure, parliament last year introduced sentences of up to 20 years in prison for jihadists and their recruiters.

In January, a radical imam in the northwestern town of Buzim was the first person to go on trial accused of recruiting people for jihad.

Husein Bosnic, a former member of a mujahedeen unit in Bosnia's war, replaced Nusret Imamovic as leader of the country's Salafists after Imamovic left for Syria in late 2013, according to intelligence sources and the US State Department.

Imamovic, who is named on a US State Department terrorist list, is believed to be the third-in-command of Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

Testifying at Bosnic's trial in Sarajevo, the relatives of several youths who travelled to Syria or Iraq, some of whom have died in fighting, said their kin attended his sermons.

The prosecution accused the cleric of receiving "significant" funding from unnamed backers in Arab states.

Bosnia's Balkans neighbours Albania, Serbia and Kosovo have also swooped on jihadist networks in recent weeks.

Fifteen men went on trial in Serbia and Albania in March accused of recruiting and financing volunteers for the war in Syria.
     "For the first time in the region, people who call on others, in a very sophisticated way, to go to foreign battlefields and commit crimes, are being tried," Ahic said.
     "What will come out of these trials has yet to be seen."

Melenchon: Greece used as an example to show other states 'how those who resist are treated'

In an interview with French newspaper "l'Humanite" at the weekend, Jean-Luc Melenchon said that the reason why he decided to support Greece in his book "le Hareng de Bismarck" is Europe's stance towards Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The candidate of the Left Front in the 2012 presidential elections noted that he made the decision to write the book as he was outraged by the behaviour of the German government and because French president Francois Hollande has not yet reacted.
     "It is a serious political mistake against the European ideal to allow such a treatment towards an EU member state," he noted.
Melenchon also said that Greece is being used as an example to show other EU states "how those who resist are treated."

Please keep in mind that Jean-Luc Melenchon abandoned the French Socialist Party in November 2008 and founded the extreme Leftist Party with French deputy Marc Dolez.

According to Wikipedia, Melenchon, who was once a defender of European federalism, now declares that "the European Union is no longer a solution but a problem, because economic liberalism has totally corrupted the institution and makes it impossible to achieve the democratic change needed in the EU, all power belonging to technocrats with no popular legitimacy".

For this reason, he is for the establishment of a different, democratic, united, and cooperative Europe, and is opposed to the Lisbon Treaty as well as questioning the independence of the European Central Bank.

Also, and based on his experiences in South America, he apparently favors a "The Citizens' Revolution" (révolution citoyenne), drawing additionally on ideas stemming from the French Revolution and the Paris Commune, and a new strategy that respects the democratic process while seeking to win elections in order to change the constitution. In his opinion, this "citizens' revolution" should lead to a reversal of the current division of wealth held by capital, represented by shareholders, and the working class (understood in the broad sense of anyone who actually works to earn money directly). Additional goals include a new constitution that will initiate a 6th French Republic in which the president will have less power and Parliament more, increase wages, a public bank created by nationalizing the private banks, democratization through the establishment of new rights for employees allowing them to develop cooperatives, the nationalization of large corporations, environmental planning, an exit from NATO, an end to the war in Afghanistan, and peace in the Middle East through the creation of a Palestinian state. Jean-Luc Mélenchon also insists on the importance of "popular involvement" through public referendums on any essential subject.

References: l'Humanite, Wikipedia


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Exactly What Is The True Religion of the West?

The following article was written by Niko Pafras and presented on pravoslavie (link below). The staff of HellasFrappe was immediately drawn to this article because the author is a simple man, with a no-nonsense logic who tells it like it really is. And what is more, he does this in a simple and understandable language that leaves little room for argument. We applaud him for this article, which not only exposes the true face of the West (and why it has always supported barbarians over democracies) but also because he dares to touch on the subject of the Orthodox faith which has lately taken a beating from all fronts. We encourage our readers to read this American author's views on the current geopolitical developments in Europe (especially on what he says about the West's reaction to the invasion of Cyprus and on the current situation in the Ukraine) and draw their own conclusions. 

Niko Pafras (pravoslavie) - I’m not a professional journalist or an expert in international affairs. Fortunately, one doesn’t need to be either to see what is going on in the popular western media these days. Living in America I am bombarded on a daily basis with the “expert” opinions on the Ukrainian crisis by a horde of analysts on the nightly news. The recurring theme in these interviews, regardless of political affiliation or news network, is the outrage felt by western leaders at the supposed “aggression” shown by Russia towards Ukraine. Conveniently, the aggression of President Poroshenko towards his fellow citizens in eastern Ukraine vis-a-vis the openly neo-Nazi Azov battalion and its ilk, goes almost entirely unreported. Be that as it may, one must ask, what precisely is it in the psyche of western leaders and pundits that makes them foam at the mouth with outrage at the crisis in Ukraine but turn a blind eye when it comes to similar incidents that are conducted by western countries or their allies?

For example, on July 20th, 1974, NATO member Turkey under the leadership of then Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit launched the invasion of Cyprus known as “Operation Attila”.

What reason did Mr. Ecevit give for this naked aggression and violation of international norms?

The prevention of “Enosis”, which is Union with the Greek mainland, and the protection of the Turkish minority from alleged pogroms by Greeks whose population, at the time, made up approximately 77% of the Island. The result of the invasion was the bifurcation of Cyprus into the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and the so-called TRNC or Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus who is only recognized by Turkey.

On paper, the TRNC is considered by Turkey to be a separate state but in reality, the TRNC is a de facto part of Turkey.

In other words, an annexation.

Now one would expect, all things being equal, that similar outrage was shown towards Turkey for its illegal invasion and subsequent occupation of northern Cyprus.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where things are not equal. The Western response? Negligible at best. There was no American castigation of Turkey or heavy sanctions. No military build-up of American forces on the Turkish border or heaping of opprobrium by the western media. And interestingly, there were no Hitler-Ecevit comparisons made on a daily basis like there have ubiquitously been throughout the western press since the reunification of Crimea with Russia.

No, on the contrary, Turkey cemented its ties with America and Europe and continues to receive billions of dollars worth of military aid through the Truman doctrine.

Unlike the violent invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, which claimed the lives of thousands, Crimea was received into Russia by a free and fair referendum in which an overwhelming majority of Crimean residents chose unification with Russia. The American response to the Turkish invasion was silence. Yet, when it comes to the people of Crimea exercising their democratic rights and their right to self-determination, which America holds as universal right, the response is outrage, sanctions and threats.

How do we explain this response or rather, lack thereof?

Interests. Plain and simple.

Turkey is a NATO member whose strategic location is vital for NATO (read American) operations in the Middle East, the Caucasus and the black sea region.

The Turkish invasion and the American response have led me to only one reasonable conclusion. American outrage for the annexation of Crimea isn’t real. Its entirely manufactured for political purposes in order to continue their grand project of eastward NATO expansion despite the promises Russia was given in the 90’s that no such expansion would occur.

Considering all of this, I couldn’t help but think about America’s own founding documents. Specifically, the declaration of Independence which states in its first paragraph:
      “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
I guess the right to self-determination isn’t universal after all.

But the larger theme here is the western opposition to Orthodox countries who hold traditional Christian values.

In many ways the Orthodox world is a thorn in the flesh. It frustrates the west because the Orthodox world, in large measure, never experienced anything like the so-called “Enlightenment” which started the process of secularization and de-Christianization of the west in the 18th century.

The idea of a strong and robust nation that holds to traditional Christian values is an idea that Western Europe finds repugnant in the extreme. Why? Because such a nation would be an ideological rival and that is something that the current order can’t tolerate.

Western nations have been globalizing their secular values by branding them as “human rights” and using human rights organizations as a cudgel to browbeat, into submission, those nations who hold to traditional values. But of course, this only applies to those traditional countries that do not tow the line of the western agenda.

If you are a country like Turkey, a country that has manifold human rights abuses, you get a free pass because you have acquiesced to the program of western hegemony.

This is why America and Western Europe are mostly silent on the issue of human rights violations by countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. But for Orthodox countries like Russia and Serbia, no such pass is given and chastisement abounds.

As a friend of mine said, enlightenment liberalism is the true religion of the west and those who refuse to convert can expect no quarter.


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OPINION - FYROM: Is Replacement of VMRO-DPMNE & Rule of SDSM Better for Greece?

In the dialectics of several months long acute struggle between the ruling VMRO-DPMNE and the opposing leftist party in FYROM, the Social-Democratic Union of FYROM, some Greek observers formed an opinion that political victory of SDSM – which in local political standards translates into “forming a government and giving mandate to a Prime Minister” – would have positive impact on Greece. The presumption is based on the ignorance of the position of SDSM on the name and identity issue of the major ethnic group of FYROM, an ignorance created by overt emphasis on bombastic and absurd identification of VMRO-DPMNE with Greek classical identity.

by Vladislav Perunović (olympia) - There’s no need to introduce a retrospective of these acts – renaming of streets and public object, erecting statues of important persons of northern Greek classical antiquity, semi-official use of Sun of Vergina, publication of pseudoscholarly books by circles that may be called members of the “official academia”. Observers of the latest years of the symbolic conflict generated by FYROM’s claim on classical antiquity know those facts well enough. However, the usage of the reasoning that VMRO-DPMNE reached a zenith of historical forgeries and that no single political option that would replace it can be worst is based on the false reasoning. The first and the most important is that, if domestic public in FYROM is excluded, these ‘ethnological theories’ formulated by VMRO-DPMNE have some worth in the realm of serious international academic circles.

For all 9 years of their promotion, not a single archeologist, a historian, linguist outside FYROM has accepted even partially those “theories of continuity”. A review of the most authoritative academic reference books produced outside Balkans in this period do not even quote those views as debatable stances, as theories worthy of mention. The only reason why some circles in Greece think that political elimination of this energetic forging of history by VMRO-DPMNE and affiliated (formally non-governmental organizations as well as private individuals) is the offense for the usurpation of the ancient cultural heritage of Greek people. However, what is forgotten is that, although this usurpation is offensive in itself, it is more of an indicator of anti-Hellenism in FYROM than a viable set of theories, models and hypothesis that have potential to sever the classical heritage of Macedon from the Greek historical narrative. What seems omitted by its critics is the fact that Gruevski’s identity politics alienated historical, linguistic, archaeological academic circles in stable academic environments (primarily in liberal democracies) which slowly, but steadily, begun (not without exceptions, but still in a majority) to accept the mainstream Titoist theories of separate “Macedonian” ethnicity which was produced in former Yugoslavia in 1940’s and 1950’s.

These sympathetic academics, most of them exponents of Western cultural liberalism or even cultural (as opposed to political) Marxism, are appalled in contemporary times by the unsubstantiated, vulgar theories of “ancient Macedonian continuity” which are groundless and established in total disregards of scholarly methodology. These academics, supportive of idea of separate “Makedonci” nationality, qualitatively different from Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks, formed their opinions on the premises of notion of “self-determination” and similar philosophically Marxist and existentialists theories of ethnic genesis. The chief factor facilitating this development was the fact that among nationalisms in communist Yugoslavia, all were forbidden in the name of pan-Yugoslav “brotherhood and unity”, except the “Macedonian” nationalism, which was deemed necessary in order to weaken Serbia, sever ethnological ties to Bulgaria and position the young nation against Greece, or, more precisely, against Greek integrity in the North Aegean. This Marxist approach exported energetically in Yugoslavia (and, unfortunately, not challenged by official Greece, in time when Yugoslavia was west’s useful buffer zone against the Soviet bloc) was promoted by the “Communist Party of Macedonia” (KPM), the single political body of southern Yugoslav republic.

Today, its historical, philosophical, sociological and politicological descendants is the SDSM. This party today espouses, after criticism in 1990’s that it was “Pro-Serbian”, “anti-national”, “anti-patriotic” and subsequent reforms, based primarily upon leadership of relatively young people for which Yugoslavia is some sort of distant abstraction from the past, a reformed continuity of “Macedonian nationalism”. Precisely because this variant is very, very different from the bizarre ethnocentrism promoted by VMRO-DPMNE, it is more insidious for Greek long-term interests. Namely, this “Macedonian nationalism” of present-day SDSM is based on the idea of fundamental distinction of Slavic tribes of medieval period, which culminated in revolt by leftist intellectuals again “hegemonic expansionism” of Athens, Belgrade and Sofia, which gained popularity among masses which were ‘tired of fratricidal servitude to neighboring centers of power’.

This variant of “makedonski patriotism”, although ultimately also flawed, has an advantage that it is receptive for western liberals and postmodernists in present day. It is espoused in FYROM by such thinkers of SDSM as Denko Maleski, Ljubomir Frčkovski, Miroslav Grčev, Ljudmil Spasov et al. It has a tradition of institutional formation from 1944 to 1998. SDSM, regardless of the apparent “labourist”, “socialist”, “liberal” political ethos, is, due to the fact that Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Serbs, Roma and others have their own national parties, still a party almost exclusively composed of people which are “Makedonci” of the Slavic kind. To sum the issue, it is a dilemma for Greek public what is more “acceptable”: the outrageous, bizarre and megalomaniac nationalism of VMRO-DPMNE or the “sociological” Marxist construct cherished by SDSM, which asserts that there is a ‘case’ for ‘Makedonci’ history and culture in a manner that may have some sort of appeal of ‘realism’? Finally, the ongoing struggle of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM is about such issues as ‘freedom of speech’, ‘corruption’, ‘nepotism’ – neither of both party doesn’t challenge the consensus that “Makedonci” exists for centuries and have a ‘historical right to nationhood’.

Thus, the prospective factors that may bring a fresh change relevant for Greece are the already visible trends of rehabilitation of Bulgarian and Serbian patriotism inside FYROM, both of which have historical tradition based on ethnonym, language and culture.

olympia


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BUSTED - Corruption in soccer, banking and even by EU authorities

By John Ward (The Slog) - The horribly nasty, depraved and all-round bung recipient Sepp Blatter of FIFA now fears for his freedom should he ever set foot on US soil again. And his fears are not paranoia. News of the more than three-year-old FBI investigation into FIFA corruption broke last November.

The investigation centres on corruption allegations about the venue choices for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. FIFA conducted its own report on the bids last year: it was never made public, which suggests that even FIFA itself couldn’t find a way to declare Blatter innocent. The chief investigator, American lawyer Michael Garcia, later resigned to protest FIFA’s decision not to release the 350-page report in full.

Compare and contrast this obscene pavane with the mutualist and entirely above board why in which Manchester United rebels FCUM have toiled honestly these ten years or more to produce a footie club owned by the fans. This year, the club has won pretty much every competition it entered: next season, it will be in the Conference League… theoretically just six years away from playing Champions’ League football.

So right up your jacksie Rupert Murdoch, Glaser Family, Milt Friedman, Theodore Levitt, Daniel Hannan and all the other blind followers of the munnneeeee.

Banking News

Barclays’ most prominent foreign-currency-exchange executive Tim Cartledge has resigned rather suddenly ‘to take time out from the business’. But his abrupt departure has Barclays insiders wondering why a key player no longer works there.

Perhaps it is all part of CEO Anthony Jenkins’ rigorous policy of settling outstanding investigations into past misconduct, in order to reigorously stop them ever happening again by being rigorously accusatory.
     “I expect we will make significant, though sometimes difficult, progress in these issues in 2015,” he told the bank’s annual meeting, referring to issues including an ongoing investigation into alleged foreign exchange manipulation.
Cartledge was previously the head of the Barclays electronic currency trading (FX) platform Barx based in Singapore.

Just fancy that.

EU News

After months of preaching to Greek politicians on the subject of corruption, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces a Parliamentary enquiry into his handling of the bailed out ABN Amro Group NV, owned by the Netherlands State.

The Dutch parliament is debating the matter after MPs became furious about pay rises awarded to ABN Amro executives…. so outrageous in fact, the Government was forced to delay the bank’s flotation.

At one and the same time, Dijsselbloem promised ABN Amro top management that he would defend their increases, while telling the media he thought the pay hikes were unwise. Many and varied are the number of faces the Dutch finance minister has; we mere mortals marvel at how he mixes parsimony with sanctimony when it comes to his Greek and banker dealings. Respectively.


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Greek doctors & medical staff announce strike for May 20th

The federation of public hospital employees (POEDIN) has called a 24-hour strike in response to the many problems in Greece’s health care system, which are attributed to what they claim are staff shortages and the significant budget cuts that have been implemented in recent years.

According to press reports, the country's medical staff have united and are planning a nationwide 24-hour strike on May 20th.

The union of hospital doctors (EINAP) noted in one announcement that it fully supports the mobilization and actions of doctors in response to unpaid overtime and the deterioration of working conditions in the national health care system (ESY). Parallel to this it called on the government to support public hospitals by increasing funding and recruiting permanent staff members.

As expected Greece's largest public sector trade union ADEDY is supporting the strike and has called for support of the demonstration outside the Health Ministry.


May 15, 2015

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PROVOCATION: 70 Turkish warships flood Aegean - Warship spotted near shores of Arkadia!

credit defencenet
A huge Turkish armada consisting of well over 70 warships decided to sail around the Aegean on Friday alarming authorities at Greece's National Operations Centre. Authorities who suddenly saw their radars full of red dots from the numerous Turkish warships claim that they massed together a few miles south of Mount Athos and were spotted as far south as the island of Kythira!

A report on defencenet claims that one warship, specifically the F-243 YILDIRIM (MEKO 200 Track I) frigate was even spotted near the coast of Arcadia (!) in the Peloponnese (but was closely monitored by the Hellenic navy).

At the same time a TPC from the Turkish Navy made its presence known a few miles east of the island of Hydra (south of the Attica coast) and another Turkish frigate, the TCG Gokceada (F-494) class C.H Perry, was sailing south southwest of Kythira and northwest of Crete!
     "This has never occurred before with such intensity," a senior officer from the Hellenic Navy told Defencenet adding that "there is an ongoing (naval) exercise (tittled) DENIZKURDU-15 but it is clear that the Turkish Navy is attempting to demonstrate the high availability of its vessels."
The Hellenic navy did not sit idly by and swallow this Turkish show of power. From what has been reported, at least 20 units developed in the Aegean showing our neighbors who the boss of this sea is. With strategic moves and the correct positioning, our boys were able to easily control the movement of this huge Turkish fleet with fewer warships.

The Turkish naval exercises began on May 13th and are due to end on April 18th. According to the article, the purpose of these exercises aims at working with commercial vessels using NATO procedures. From what we learn the exercises are being conducted in the northern Aegean, but as we can all see Turkey once again decided to flex its muscles against its so-called NATO ally Greece and trigger our national sentiment by provokingly spreading its presence throughout the Aegean.

Reference in Greek - defencenet


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Members of Conspiracy of Cells Invade Golden Dawn Trial - Cause Chaos (VIDEO)

The trial of 69 leaders and members of the Golden Dawn party, which is currently going on at the Korydallos prison in Piraeus, was interrupted on Friday when a group of far-leftists suddenly -and without warning- entered the premises screaming out "fascists!". The protesters, most of which are members of the terrorist group "Conspiracy of Cells" apparently entered the courthouse from a side door and caught everyone -as well as authorities- by surprise. Reports claim that they threw bottles at Golden Dawn defendants which fell on journalists and photographers' heads and shouted "shame murderers, they will kill us all."

Police officers did not manage to stop the protesters and the judge ruled that safety measures were unsufficient.

During the chaos, the parents of the late anti-fascist activist Pavlos Fyssas grabbed the opportunity to hurl abuse towards the defendants. The mother of Fyssas was apparently annoyed when the lawyers of the defendants asked that security measures be taken in order to ensure the safety of the defendants during the trial (especially after the fact that accused terrorists suddenly entered into the courtroom).

Shortly afterwards the trial continued but the was adjourned defendants’ lawyers asked for the adjournment of the trial because, as they said, a trial cannot take place under such tense atmosphere. As such, the presiding judge decided to adjourn the trial until June 4th, further escalating the situation.

It should be reminded that the Conspiracy of Fire terrorist group is a radical leftist anarchist organization based in Greece. According to Wikipedia the group made its debut on January 21st, 2008, with a wave of 11 firebombings against luxury car dealerships and banks in and around the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. Monthly waves of arson were followed by proclamations expressing solidarity with arrested anarchists in Greece and elsewhere. In September 2009, following an escalation to the use of crude time bombs, four suspected members of the group were arrested. In November 2010 two more suspects were arrested while attempting to mail parcel bombs to embassies and EU leaders and organizations. The organization was designated as a terrorist group on October 13, 2011, by the U.S. Department of State.

In one of their published texts titled "The Sun Still Rises", they put forward a redefinition of the concept of revolutionary "organization" as an entity consisting of many groups and individuals of various backgrounds, united through a common critique of capitalist society and a commitment to "immediate freedom" through urban guerrilla tactics.

Two of their proclamations published in athens.indymedia.org on May 19, 2010 (a G.Soros supported website), explained that they represented a "third pole" of anarchist thought in Greece, anarcho-individualism, contrasting it with social anarchism and insurrectionary anarchism. Uniquely among Greek armed groups, this group claims to use the word "terrorist" in a favorable light and some of its writers even refer to themselves as nihilists.

Unfortunately, most of the domestic and foreign media coverage of political radicals in Greece has mainly focused on the far-right Golden Dawn party but has somehow but has somehow suspiciously always ignore the extremism on the left.

Sources: ProtoThema, enikos, Wikipedia, Makeleio, YouTube



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Gov't calls on Greek embassies & consulates to return unallocated funds - NOT GOOD

Dozens of Greek embassies and consulates were apparently instructed on Friday to return any unallocated funds they have, via the tax services, a report from To Vima said. The report, quoting an official government document, claims that the overseas diplomatic authorities are called upon to return any unallocated funds and revenue from consular acts (such as issuing visas, proxies, etc) via the tax services.

The document, which To Vima claims it has, specifies that diplomatic authorities must return any unused funds that were intended for stationary, cleaning products etc for the next two months. The same report even notes that the collection of these funds has already begun and although a number of embassies and consulates generate considerable revenue from issuing tourist visas, there are no provisions to fund them, which may affect their operation.

Diplomats of course are quite concerned since this unprecedented government request has never happened before.

Editor's Note - The story is also dominating most Greek news portals.

Reference: To Vima




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Lavrov: Chaos in FYROM Linked to Turkish Stream, Refusal of Sanctions Against Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that Moscow sees the worsening situation in FYROM as tied to the country’s refusal to join economic sanctions against Russia and its support towards the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
     “I cannot judge with a final definition, but objectively it turns out that these events in FYROM are developing on the backdrop of the FYROManian authorities’ refusal to join in the sanction policy against Russia, as well as on the backdrop of its active support that Skopje showed in regard to the planned construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which many in Brussels and those overseas are against,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in Belgrade.
(Sputnik)

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Thomsen briefs IMF on Greece - Greece wants solution, not agreement

The IMF's European Department director Poul Thomsen informed the members of the IMF Council on complaints of the institutions' representatives that have no access to Greek ministers or even the Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Thomsen, according to a dispatch from the state news agency, reported that progress has only been achieved in procedural issues, and not the important ones the resolution of which will determine the financial aid to Greece.
     "The situation is far from being ideal," Thomsen was quoted as saying.
ANA-MPA sources maintain that Thomsen said he has no idea of the real situation regarding liquidity and that is why he does not express an opinion on debt sustainability.
     "The worst of all is that the experts of the Brussels Group do not have access to ministers. They cannot see ministers. The representatives of the institutions cannot know if what they are told by the officials in Athens reflect the decisions taken by ministers or they are the positions of civil servants," the head of the European Department of the IMF reportedly said.
According to another source, "progress has been made, but there is a problem with liquidity and the procedure, although the last few days it has improved."

According to Thomsen, an agreement, in principle, on bad loans has already been achieved, but both sides have disagreed on labour issues, pensions, 2015 fiscal policy and administrative reform.

Thomsen dismissed reports that he has asked for a debt haircut. He noted that the repayment of the IMF loan, last Tuesday, was a positive development and argued that things are going to be even more difficult in June, July and August. At the same time he also expressed the hope that the Brussels Group is going to convene on Monday and progress could be achieved.

In Athens, and while addressing the Economist conference on Thursday night State Minister Nikos Pappas allowed it to be understood that there was a shift in government rhetoric (which has now decided to use the term “solution” instead of “agreement”). The shift, somehow suggests that the negotiation team and the Prime Minister are preparing for political maneuvering in the final phase of the negotiations.

He noted that “the elections were an expression of our people."
     "The agreement must have these characteristics, a provision for reduction the debt, a provision for increasing employment, we are certain of reaching an agreement that will provide a solution."
He made it clear that the government wants a solution and not an agreement and he then accused politicians and circles in Germany and Europe for undermining the efforts to overcome the impasse. Although he noted that “external factors” were not responsible for Greece's economic problems, the Minister explained that these “extreme voices (who do) not desire a solution will suffer a loss of their political weight”. This is believed to have been aimed at inter-party critics and doubters. According to Pappas, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is working towards “a solution that will restore the people’s trust and bring a return to growth”.

The State Minister also talked about circles in Germany, which, according to him, are “circulating scenarios of a impasse”, which is believed to be an indirect reference to the stance of the German Minister of Finances, Wolfgang Schauble. Pappas stressed that “Greece has the intention to find a solution; it does not help to start pretending and repeating the same mistakes”.

References: ANA-MPA, To Vima


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