Tag Archives: European Union

November 17 2012,Suicidal Greece in Pictures

An employee at the state-run Workers’ Housing Organization (OEK) crouches on a ledge while threatening to jump as a colleague speaks to her, in central Athens, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. The woman was fired as the agency was due to be shut as part of sweeping new austerity measures demanded by Greece’s EU-IMF rescue creditors. After hours of negotiations, the woman was brought to safety as she came in from the balcony. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Looking for a Police State to blow your Whistle? Here you are! The ex- cradle of democracy the current cradle of Tyranny #tapwire  is nothing comparing to what Greek State has become. THIS IS NOT A STATE OF THE PEOPLE BUT OF THE EXTREMES,THE FASCISTS AND THE POLICE INTIMIDATING CIVILIANS

Λέγομαι Αντώνιος Περρής. Εδώ και 20 χρόνια φροντίζω την 90 χρονών Μητἐρα μου(την γεροντοκομώ). Τώρα τα 3- 4 χρόνια έχει πάθει Αλτζχάϊμερ και τελευταία την πιάνουν και κρίσεις σχιζοφρένειας και έχει κι᾽ άλλα προβλήματα υγείας, Και τα γηροκομεία δεν δέχονται τὀσο επιβαρυμένους ασθενείς.
Το πρὀβλημα είναι ότι δεν είχα προβλέψει να έχω αρκετό ρευστό στο λογαριασμό μου, διότι έπιασε ξαφνικά η οικονομική κρίση. Παρόλο που έχω αρκετή περιουσία, και τα πουλώ όλα όσο όσο τόσο καιρό, έχω μείνει χωρίς ρευστό(χρήματα) και δέν έχουμε πια να φάμε, κι´η πιστωτική μου κάρτα με 22% επιτόκιο γεμάτη κι´ας δανείζονται με 1%, κι´άλλα έξοδα που τρέχουν. Ζω πια συνέχεια μιά ζωή δράμα.

2) Τώρα τελευταία δυστυχώς έχω νέα σοβαρότατα δικά μου προβλήματα υγείας.

Δεν έχω καμμία λύση μπρος μου. Περιουσία αρκετή αλλά ρευστό καθόλου, οπότε χωρίς φαγητό τι γίνεται ? Μήπως ξέρει κανείς καμμία λύση.

Ισχυροί της γης γιά την οικονομική κρίση που δημιουργήσατε θέλετε κρέμασμα
και σας είναι λίγο.

Μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

1) Τον κόσμο αυτό αν θες να φτιάξεις
πρέπει ν΄αλλάξεις τη δομή,
πρωτού λόγω της απραξίας μας
μας αφανίσει η παρακμή,
μας κυβερνούν οι λωποδύτες,
οι τραπεζίτες κι´ οι αγιογδύτες
κι´ όλοι τους οι υποτακτικοί.

R. Δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
κτύπα τους πριν αφανιστείς,
γιατί αλλιώς μεσ´ στη μιζέρια
και μεσ´ στο άδικο θα ζεις,
δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

2) Λέει η εντολή ου αυτοκτονήσεις,
μα κατ´ ανάγκη αυτοκτονείς,
χτύπα τους πριν σε αφανίσουν,
εγκληματείς που αδρανείς,
της ηθικής μας απραξίας
όπως και της νωθρότητάς μας
πια ας μην είμαστ´ ασθενείς.

MNA–Unprecedented, for Greece, percentages of depression and suicidal tendencies have been recorded in the Greece society, as well as anxiety and despair, in the past two years due to the economic recession, unemployment and the sense of insecurity, psychiatrists told a press conference on Thursday evening ahead of the 38th annual Panhellenic Medical Congress to be held in Athens next week.

Suicides climbed by 22 percent in the two-year period 2009-2011, while the number of people seeking help in support services have jumped by 20-30 percent.amna

According to Professor Eleftherios Lykouras, director of the Psychiatric Clinic of Attikon Hospital, children, even pre-schoolers, have been affected by the heavy climate, with the number of children requiring psychiatric care increasing by 10-15 percent in the two-year period. He said that most of the children are taken to hospital pediatric departments with intense headaches and stomach pains and pains in their extremities, with the diagnosis resulting from test results indicating a psychological, stress-related factor.amna

He said the reduction in incomes, unemployment and financial difficulties are risk factors for the occurrence of depression symptoms, while the debt is proving to be a critical factor in the link between financial difficulty and depression.amna

Further, fear, insecurity and uncertainty for the future are psychological effects connected with the economic parameters and can also lead to depression.

(Reuters) – On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation – and its media – before a May 6 election.

The especially grisly death of pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas, who shot himself in the head on a central Athens square because of poverty brought on by the crisis that has put millions out of work, was by far the most dramatic.

Before shooting himself during morning rush hour on April 4 on Syntagma Square across from the Greek parliament building, the 77-year-old pensioner took a moment to jot down a note.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance,” wrote Christoulas, who has since become a national symbol of the austerity-induced pain that is squeezing millions.

Greek media have since reported similar suicides almost daily, worsening a sense of gloom going into next week’s election, called after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s interim government completed its mandate to secure a new rescue deal from foreign creditors by cutting spending further.

Some medical experts say this form of political suicide is a reflection of the growing despair and sense of helplessness many feel. But others warn the media may be amplifying the crisis mood with its coverage and numbers may only be up slightly.

“The crisis has triggered a growing sense of guilt, a loss of self-esteem and humiliation for many Greeks,” Nikos Sideris, a leading psychoanalyst and author in Athens, told Reuters.

“Greek people don’t want to be a burden to anyone and there’s this growing sense of helplessness. Some develop an attitude of self-hatred and that leads to self-destruction. That’s what’s behind the increase in suicide and attempted suicide. We’re seeing a whole new category: political suicides.”

Police said the geology lecturer, Nikos Polyvos, who hanged himself, was distraught because a teaching job offer had been blocked due to a blanket hiring freeze in the public sector.

A blind protester shouts against anti-austerity measures during a protest near the Prime Ministers office in Athens, on February 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

NATION IN SHOCk

Experts say the numbers are relatively low – less than about 600 per year. But increases in suicides, attempted suicides, the use of anti-depressant medication and the need for psychiatric care are causing alarm in a nation unaccustomed to the problems.

Before the financial crisis began wreaking havoc in 2009, Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world – 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. There was a 40 percent rise in suicides in the first half of 2010, according to the Health Ministry.

There are no reliable statistics on 2011 but experts say Greece’s suicide rate has probably doubled to about 5 per 100,000. That is still far below levels of 34 per 100,000 seen in Finland or 9 per 100,000 in Germany. Attempted suicides and demand for psychiatric help has risen as Greece struggles to cope with the worst economic crisis since World War Two.

Nikiforos Angelopoulos, a professor of psychiatry, has a busy psychotherapy practice in an upmarket Athens neighbourhood. He said the crisis has exacerbated the problems for some already less stable people and estimates that about five percent of his patients have developed problems due to the crisis.

“We’re a nation in shock,” he said, even though he suspected that it was the media coverage of suicides that had increased dramatically rather than the actual numbers of suicides. He nevertheless says the crisis is behind a notable rise in mental health problems in Greece.

“I had one patient who came in with a severe depression – he owns a furniture making company that got into financial trouble and he had to lay off 20 of his 100 workers,” he said. “He couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat because of that. He said his good business was being ruined and he couldn’t cope anymore.”

The furniture maker spent four months in therapy and was also helped by anti-depressants, Angelopoulos said.

“He’s better now. He realised what happened just happened. But there are many others who are unstable or psychotic to begin with and the crisis is increasing their anxiety and insecurity.”

Angelopoulos, 60, has also suffered himself because about 20 percent of his patients can no longer afford his 100 euro ($130) per hour sessions. Some have asked for a half-price discount while others tell him they simply can’t afford to pay anything.

“I never turn people away,” he said. “If a patient says to me ‘I have no money’, I couldn’t tell them to go away. I tell them okay you don’t have to pay now but remember me later.”

HAPPY GREEKS?

There are several possible explanations for Greece’s low suicide rate that go beyond the fact that the country has an abundance of sunshine and balmy weather.

To avoid stigmatising their families, some suicidal Greeks deliberately crash their cars, which police often charitably report as accidents. Families often try to cover up a suicide so their loved ones can’t be buried because the Greek Orthodox church refuses to officiate at burials of people who commit suicide.[…….]

Another important factor behind the low suicide rate is that Greeks have extremely close knit families as well as a highly communicative and expressive culture.

“Greece is a country where everyone will talk to you,” said Sideris, the Athens psychoanalyst. “You’ll always find someone to share your suffering with and someone’s always there to help.

“It’s not only the good weather. It’s the powerful network of support that has made the suicide rate in Greece so low. It’s still there but this crisis is still too much for some people.”

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War Brutality: Former rebel ‘removed heart of Serb prisoner’ for black market sale

THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE PROFITING FROM WARS ARE THE GUN SELLERS,THE GOVERNMENTS,THE BANKS AND THE HUMAN ORGANS BLACK MARKET,BUT NEVER THE PEOPLE BECAUSE PEOPLE ONLY SEEK PEACE

 

SERBIA says it has a former Kosovo rebel witness who allegedly took part in removing the heart of a Serb prisoner for the international black market in organs during the 1990s Kosovo conflict.

“We have a witness who testified about a medical procedure, done in northern Albania, that consisted of harvesting organs from Serbs kidnapped during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo,” Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told AFP.

“He described a surgery harvesting a heart from a Serb prisoner at a location near (the northern Albanian town of) Kukes in the late 1990s,” and transporting the organ to the Rinas airport near the capital Tirana, the prosecutor said.

It was not immediately clear if the patient was dead or alive when the operation started, and the prosecutor would not give any more details.

The witness told prosecutors he received special medical training in how to harvest organs and described the operation he took part in “in detail”, according to the prosecution.

He added the heart “was sold on the black market”, Mr Vukcevic said.

The prosecutor would not give any more details about the identity of the witness, other than to say he was a former KLA member currently under strict protection measures.

Claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during and after the 1998-99 conflict are being investigated by the European Union.

Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty alleged in a hard-hitting 2010 report that senior KLA commanders – including current Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci – were involved in organised crime.

The group carrying out organ trafficking during and after the conflict with Serbian forces was closely linked to Mr Thaci, according to Mr Marty.

The report said that organs were taken from the bodies of prisoners, many of them Serbs, held by the KLA in Albania at the time.

Mr Thaci and his government as well as Albania have denied the accusations and condemned Mr Marty’s report.

“We have been investigating and checking his claims for more than a year and we estimate that the information this witness has given is true,” Mr Vukcevic said.

Following Mr Marty’s report, the European Union named US prosecutor John Clint Williamson to conduct a probe.

Refusing to reveal more details for the moment, Mr Vukcevic said he expected “that the witness’ testimony will help prosecutor Williamson’s probe”.

The wartime organ harvesting case is believed to be linked to the so-called Medicus affair, another case of organ trafficking at a hospital in the Kosovo capital Pristina.

Seven people, mostly doctors, are on trial before an EU-run court in Kosovo on charges of illegally transplanting organs at the Medicus Clinic.

The case came to light in 2008 after police opened an investigation into the collapse of a young Turk at the Pristina airport following a kidney donation to an Israeli man.

In his report Mr Marty said there are “credible, convergent indications” that the wartime organ trafficking is “closely related” to the Medicus case.

The allegations of organ harvesting by the KLA were first made public in an April 2008 book by former UN chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.

She said hundreds of victims, mainly Serbs but also other non-Albanians, were kidnapped in Kosovo in the final stages of the war and taken to prison camps across the porous border with Albania, citing unnamed UN officials and journalists as her sources.

The claims were initially investigated in March 2004 by a forensic team of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which found “no conclusive evidence” for such charges, according to a copy of the confidential report obtained by AFP in late 2008.

But Jose-Pablo Baraybar, the former chief of the UNMIK Office on Missing Persons and Forensics who headed the 2004 team, told AFP at the time that the case warranted further investigation and that, as a forensic pathologist, he believed organ trafficking there was “probable… at the very least possible”.

Kosovo will gain full sovereignty on Monday in accordance with a decision by the International Steering Group which has overseen the territory since it unilaterally broke away from Serbia in 2008.

Belgrade fiercely rejects Kosovo’s independence, recognised by some 90 countries, including the United States and most EU member states.

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Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison

CBS NEWS WASHINGTON – In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

For years, the CIA used a government building — codenamed “Bright Light” — as a makeshift prison for its most valuable detainees. There it held al Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and others in a basement prison before they were ultimately transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006, according to former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the location and inner workings of the prison.

The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but its location has never been made public. The Associated Press and German public television ARD located the former prison and learned details of the facility where harsh interrogation tactics were used. ARD’s program on the CIA prison is set to air Thursday.

The Romanian prison was part of a network of so-called black sites that the CIA operated and controlled overseas in Thailand, Lithuania and Poland. All the prisons were closed by May 2006, and the CIA’s detention and interrogation program ended in 2009.

Unlike the CIA’s facility in Lithuania’s countryside or the one hidden in a Polish military installation, the CIA’s prison in Romania was not in a remote location. It was hidden in plain sight, a couple blocks off a major boulevard on a street lined with trees and homes, along busy train tracks.

The building is used as the National Registry Office for Classified Information, which is also known as ORNISS. Classified information from NATO and the European Union is stored there. Former intelligence officials both described the location of the prison and identified pictures of the building.

In an interview at the building in November, senior ORNISS official Adrian Camarasan said the basement is one of the most secure rooms in all of Romania. But he said Americans never ran a prison there.

“No, no. Impossible, impossible,” he said in an ARD interview for its “Panorama” news broadcast, as a security official monitored the interview.

The CIA prison opened for business in the fall of 2003, after the CIA decided to empty the black site in Poland, according to former U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the detention program with reporters.

Shuttling detainees into the facility without being seen was relatively easy. After flying into Bucharest, the detainees were brought to the site in vans. CIA operatives then drove down a side road and entered the compound through a rear gate that led to the actual prison.

The detainees could then be unloaded and whisked into the ground floor of the prison and into the basement.

The basement consisted of six prefabricated cells, each with a clock and arrow pointing to Mecca, the officials said. The cells were on springs, keeping them slightly off balance and causing disorientation among some detainees.

The CIA declined to comment on the prison.

During the first month of their detention, the detainees endured sleep deprivation and were doused with water, slapped or forced to stand in painful positions, several former officials said. Waterboarding, the notorious interrogation technique that simulates drowning, was not performed in Romania, they said.

After the initial interrogations, the detainees were treated with care, the officials said. The prisoners received regular dental and medical checkups. The CIA shipped in Halal food to the site from Frankfurt, Germany, the agency’s European center for operations. Halal meat is prepared under religious rules similar to kosher food.

Former U.S. officials said that because the building was a government installation, it provided excellent cover. The prison didn’t need heavy security because area residents knew it was owned by the government. People wouldn’t be inclined to snoop in post-communist Romania, with its extensive security apparatus known for spying on the country’s own citizens.

The National Registry Office for Classified Information, also known as ORNISS, sits in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the center of Romania’s capital city of Bucharest in this recent photo. (AP)

WASHINGTON – In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

For years, the CIA used a government building — codenamed “Bright Light” — as a makeshift prison for its most valuable detainees. There it held al Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and others in a basement prison before they were ultimately transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006, according to former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the location and inner workings of the prison.

The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but its location has never been made public. The Associated Press and German public television ARD located the former prison and learned details of the facility where harsh interrogation tactics were used. ARD’s program on the CIA prison is set to air Thursday.

 

The Romanian prison was part of a network of so-called black sites that the CIA operated and controlled overseas in Thailand, Lithuania and Poland. All the prisons were closed by May 2006, and the CIA’s detention and interrogation program ended in 2009.

Unlike the CIA’s facility in Lithuania’s countryside or the one hidden in a Polish military installation, the CIA’s prison in Romania was not in a remote location. It was hidden in plain sight, a couple blocks off a major boulevard on a street lined with trees and homes, along busy train tracks.

The building is used as the National Registry Office for Classified Information, which is also known as ORNISS. Classified information from NATO and the European Union is stored there. Former intelligence officials both described the location of the prison and identified pictures of the building.

In an interview at the building in November, senior ORNISS official Adrian Camarasan said the basement is one of the most secure rooms in all of Romania. But he said Americans never ran a prison there.

“No, no. Impossible, impossible,” he said in an ARD interview for its “Panorama” news broadcast, as a security official monitored the interview.

The CIA prison opened for business in the fall of 2003, after the CIA decided to empty the black site in Poland, according to former U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the detention program with reporters.

Shuttling detainees into the facility without being seen was relatively easy. After flying into Bucharest, the detainees were brought to the site in vans. CIA operatives then drove down a side road and entered the compound through a rear gate that led to the actual prison.

The detainees could then be unloaded and whisked into the ground floor of the prison and into the basement.

The basement consisted of six prefabricated cells, each with a clock and arrow pointing to Mecca, the officials said. The cells were on springs, keeping them slightly off balance and causing disorientation among some detainees.

The CIA declined to comment on the prison.

SCHEME OF THE PRISON HERE

During the first month of their detention, the detainees endured sleep deprivation and were doused with water, slapped or forced to stand in painful positions, several former officials said. Waterboarding, the notorious interrogation technique that simulates drowning, was not performed in Romania, they said.

After the initial interrogations, the detainees were treated with care, the officials said. The prisoners received regular dental and medical checkups. The CIA shipped in Halal food to the site from Frankfurt, Germany, the agency’s European center for operations. Halal meat is prepared under religious rules similar to kosher food.

Former U.S. officials said that because the building was a government installation, it provided excellent cover. The prison didn’t need heavy security because area residents knew it was owned by the government. People wouldn’t be inclined to snoop in post-communist Romania, with its extensive security apparatus known for spying on the country’s own citizens.
Human rights activists have urged the Eastern European countries to investigate the roles their governments played in hosting the prisons in which interrogation techniques such as waterboarding were used. Officials from these countries continue to deny these prisons ever existed.

“We know of the criticism, but we have no knowledge of this subject,” Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a September interview with AP.

The CIA has tried to close the book on the detention program, which President Barack Obama ended shortly after taking office.

“That controversy has largely subsided,” the CIA’s top lawyer, Stephen Preston, said at a conference this month.

But details of the prison network continue to trickle out through investigations by international bodies, reporters and human rights groups. “There have been years of official denials,” said Dick Marty, a Swiss lawmaker who led an investigation into the CIA secret prisons for the Council of Europe. “We are at last beginning to learn what really happened in Bucharest.”

During the Council of Europe’s investigation, Romania’s foreign affairs minister assured investigators in a written report that, “No public official or other person acting in an official capacity has been involved in the unacknowledged deprivation of any individual, or transport of any individual while so deprived of their liberty.” That report also described several other government investigations into reports of a secret CIA prison in Romania and said: “No such activities took place on Romanian territory.”

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Greece’s Power Generator Tests Euro Fitness Amid Blackout Threat

In the mountains of northern Greece lies an $800 million power plant whose future may help determine whether the country can salvage its euro status.

The facility near Florina, a town known as “Where Greece Begins,” is the most modern of four production units that state-controlled Public Power Corp. SA (PPC) is scheduled to sell to competitors to meet four-year-old European Union demands that the country deregulate its energy market. The most powerful Greek union is now threatening nationwide blackouts at the height of the summer tourist season to derail the plan.

Melitis, with a Russian-built generator and emissions-control technology from German units of France’s Alstom SA, is PPC’s state-of-the-art prized asset. Source: PPC SA via Bloomberg

“We will make saving PPC a cause for all Greeks,” Nikos Fotopoulos, head of the 18,000-strong GENOP union, said last month in his Athens office adorned with photos of communist revolutionaries including Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. “We fight our battles with faith and passion, and we fight them hard. A serious state must control businesses of strategic importance.”

While on the surface PPC is another tale of Greek conflict during the worst economic crisis of modern times, it encapsulates how Greece has found itself at the sharp end of Europe’s struggle to keep the euro intact and what the country still faces to defend its place in the currency.

Founded in 1950 to distribute domestically generated electricity to Greek citizens, PPC is a microcosm of political protection, vested interests and reliance on foreign financing that have defined the economy for decades.
Resisting Change

It is the country’s biggest employer and its eight plants fired by the soft, brownish-black coal called lignite meet half of Greece’s power demand. PPC is fighting to keep its monopoly on the fuel, which is so vital to the company it’s in the process of moving a whole village to mine more of it.

“PPC has a very strong union that so far has hindered changes,” said Stefanos Manos, a former New Democracy industry minister who stood in the last election for his own party. “The government needs a clear strategy of what it wants to achieve in the energy sector in general and with the company in particular. I have yet to see evidence of that.”

Since forming a government after the June 17 election, the second in six weeks, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his ministers have been in talks with the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund to keep aid flowing during the fifth year of recession. They are working on identifying 11.5 billion euros ($14.2 billion) of further budget cuts and are 3.5 billion euros to 4 billion euros short of the target, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said this week.
Selling Assets

Samaras, 61, has vowed to make the sale of state-owned assets a priority and last month appointed former PPC Chief Executive Officer Takis Athanasopoulos as chairman of the organization managing the privatization program.

Athanasopoulos, 68, a U.S.-trained business manager and university professor, battled Fotopoulos, 48, at PPC during his tenure over issues ranging from job cuts to teaming the company with partners such as Germany’s RWE AG. (RWE) PPC employs 20,000 people, compared with about 38,000 in the mid-1990s, and is now restricted to one new hire for every 10 departures.

“We are determined, as a government of three parties, to press on with structural changes, with state-asset sales,” Samaras told reporters on July 26. His New Democracy party has formed a coalition with Democratic Left and Pasok, the socialist group traditionally backed by the unions.
Reform Credentials

PPC is a test of Samaras’s ability to prove to the euro area and IMF that Greece is meeting their demands to open markets to competition, scale back the state and cut red tape.

The asset-sale program also may involve lowering the state’s stake in PPC to a minority from the current holding of 51 percent. The company’s shares collapsed by 61 percent in the past year and its net debt at the end of the first quarter stood at 4.85 billion euros.

Greece first has to resolve a dispute with the EU over PPC that predates the debt crisis.

The fight centers on Greece’s failure to heed EU competition rules and affects the Melitis electricity plant near Florina in the northern Greek region of Macedonia, a focal point of the 1946-1949 civil war in which communist forces were defeated. Melitis, with a Russian-built generator and emissions- control technology from German units of France’s Alstom SA (ALO), is PPC’s state-of-the-art prized asset.
Lignite Mines

EU regulators ordered Greece in March 2008 to loosen PPC’s stranglehold on lignite, saying competitors face unfair market barriers. The EU said Greece violates European law by giving PPC “quasi-exclusive” access to the coal.

PPC depends on lignite, among the most polluting fuels, to help compensate for losses in its natural-gas business. The Athens-based company said its cost of production is about half as much in lignite as in cleaner gas. Greece is the third- largest lignite producer in the EU after Germany and Poland, according to the European Association for Coal and Lignite.

“We don’t consider giving existing lignite units to private groups an investment in, and contribution to, the country,” Fotopoulos, the union leader, said in a July 26 interview. “The only winners from giving ready-made lignite factories to private groups are the private groups.”
Political Change

The previous New Democracy government proposed to meet the EU’s 2008 deregulation order by expanding mining capacity.

Seeking to give competitors to PPC access to 40 percent of exploitable Greek lignite reserves, the government decided to invite bids for exploitation rights at four deposits, including one called Vevi from which the nearby Melitis plant is counting on getting supplies.

Greek elections in October 2009 produced a Pasok government that pulled the plug on that plan, which EU regulators had approved two months earlier.

The Pasok government of former Prime Minister George Papandreou, pledging to promote cleaner energy, ended up preparing to sell four existing PPC power units, including Melitis, and to limit new exploitation rights to the nearby Vevi deposit, which had been mined until about 10 years ago.

The Pasok plan remains on the table as the new Samaras administration evaluates options. The other three units on the sale list include two at the Amindeo power station southeast of Melitis and one in Megalopolis in southern Greece.

“The government is committed to proceeding with the privatization of PPC in an organized fashion,” Assimakis Papageorgiou, Greece’s deputy energy minister, said in an Aug. 1 e-mail. He declined to elaborate on the plans, saying they are still being developed.
Ticking Clock

Time is pressing not just for the government, which is scrambling to meet an Aug. 20 deadline to repay 3.1 billion euros of debt held by the ECB, but also for Melitis. It has been forced to take stopgap steps, including importing coal, after losing supplies from two nearby lignite mines.

One mine, Achlada, which furnished more than half of Melitis’s lignite in 2011, shut down temporarily earlier this year as Greece’s economic slump deepened. The other, Klidi, closed four years ago after a hillside collapsed.

The 330-megawatt unit at Melitis, whose technology limits discharges of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust particles, is getting some of its lignite from as far away as Turkey and Bulgaria, according to Constantinos Tzeprailidis, operation department manager at the plant.
Natural Wealth

“It’s a little difficult,” Tzeprailidis said in a July 28 interview in his office that looks onto countryside where sheep graze and wheat, corn and sunflowers grow. “It’s a shame to have national wealth that’s not exploited.”

About 75 kilometers (47 miles) south of Melitis, amid the lignite mines that make up Greece’s energy heartland in the Kozani area, PPC’s hunger for the fuel is more conspicuous.

The landscape is marked by active open-pit mines that supply larger, older, PPC power stations nearby.

These include Agios Dimitrios, the company’s largest lignite-fired station that alone meets about 20 percent of Greece’s electricity consumption, and Ptolemaida, the oldest station where power generation began in 1959.

“We work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Olga Kouridou, director of mining for PPC in the region, said on July 27 as she approached a 50-meter precipice in the area’s largest mine.

A German bucket-wheel excavator, the size of a multi-story building, churned the earth and dozens of dump trucks roared down the makeshift dirt roads. “We don’t stop at all. We have enormous activity,” she said.
Moving Earth

Residents of the nearby village of Mavropigi can attest to that. The village, whose name in Greek means “black source,” is due to be moved within months to make way for an expansion of mining by PPC. Mavropigi will be the sixth village in the Kozani area to be relocated since the 1970s because of mining.

Dimitris Emmanouil, a retired construction worker who was born in Mavropigi in 1941 and got married there, said he and other residents hear the ground moving at night as a result of the digging for lignite.

“It’s dangerous now because the soil is slipping,” he said on July 27 while seated at a table in a closed-down café in Mavropigi, where earthquake-like faults in the ground are visible. “There’s no other choice. The village has to go.”

PPC needs the lignite under Mavropigi and surrounding fields for a planned 1.4 billion-euro unit at the Ptolemaida plant, according to Ioannis Kopanakis, an Athens-based general manager for generation at PPC. The company is asking German development bank KfW to arrange a 700 million-euro loan and intends to fund the rest itself, he said.

“The matter has gone to the highest decision-making levels in Germany,” Kopanakis said in a July 30 interview. “We expect progress in these issues in the near future.”

This is the kind of project that PPC representatives say highlights the company’s importance to Greece, boosting investment, jobs and technological expertise.

“It’s the last producer on this scale that is left in Greece,” said Kouridou, the mining director in the Kozani region. “We need to keep that. If this stops, the whole area will lose out, but so will Greece.” Bloomberg


Oil Wars: Iran,USA,Greece & Bulgaria

 

The campaign of the US and Israel together with some European countries, especially Britain and France, against Iran reaches a new level with the embargo on its oil sector. Although a framework of agreement within the EU is reached, the Greek position within this hostile climate is unique.

The Iran situation combines with the freezing of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project (also called called “Orthodox Pipeline”) which Bulgaria froze under heavy United States influence (as explained later) to make things more outrageous against the right of Greece to choose its energy sources.

Greece is both in the middle of the economic crisis which started in the US with the Lehman Brothers collapse, as well as the Iran-related crisis on its nuclear programme and the sanctions. The EU deliberations to embargo oil shipments from Iran connected these two different situations, under a climate of an outraged Greek public opinion against EU and US for what is perceived as sick injustice against Greece.

To make a long story short, an outside observer needs to take into consideration the following points in order to have an accurate perception of the issue and the elements connected to Greece:

• Greece relies more than 35% on Iran for oil purchase with unlimited credit.
• No other country sells to Greece in that way due to the economic situation.
• The option of Saudi Arabia is fragile due to this country’s support for extremist Islamic activity, especially within the almost 1,500,000 illegal immigrants in Greece (mostly Muslim) who also contribute to the unemployment explosion, in knowledge of the EU and US.
• There is no real trust from Greeks to the West that Greece will continue to get oil from other sources in favorable terms. After all why don’t they do it now and only Iran does it?
• There is not trust for the western accusations on the Iranian nuclear programme, because US and western credibility was practically neutralized, after the “discovery” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that were non existent. The totally biased and anti-hellenic media coverage of the economic crisis reinforces Greek reluctance towards western governments and Media.
• The freezing of the Greek-Russian-Bulgarian project for the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline (due to its US-instigated abandonment from the Bulgarian government) combines with prohibiting Iran as supplier and makes Greeks realizing that the US and EU deny Greece the right to choose suitable suppliers: a kind of forbidding Greece to have free choice.
• US and EU mobility to allow British Petroleum continue doing business with Iran in the Shah Deniz II gas project is seen as an outspoken proof of hypocrisy. The reason US and EU officials lobbied to the US Congress for not putting sanctions on British Petroleum, is in order for Europe “to achieve energy security and independence from Russia”: They revealed their real target which is Russia and perhaps China.
• None of them was interested on Greece when Greece was trying to achieve energy security and independence from Turkey through the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline (which would also enhance European independence from Turkey). They want Greece, however, to support their policy towards Iran, risk Greek oil supplies and reserves and at the same time keep the British company in Iran!!!
• Why not similarly giving Greece exemption from the sanctions against Iran, since Iran is the only reliable oil source for Greece which does not ask Greece for advance guarantees and Greece gets long term good prices in the difficult situation that the economic crisis put it.
• Wikileaks documents from the US State Department revealed that previous US pressure on Athens mainly aimed at having Greece as one more “feather in the hat” of Washington. The Americans wanted to demonstrate that European countries were aligned with US policy and Greece was one of the country-trophies. The IRISL Iranian Shipping Lines was the main US target and Greek ship owners were opposing the idea to stop transporting Iranian oil.

Hundreds of millions penalty on Bulgaria

The Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project aims to transport Russian oil to Bulgaria and send it to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis through a land based pipeline. In this way there will be no need to pass the busy and unstable area of the Turkish-controlled straits between the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Oil would be loaded to ships in Alexandroupolis to go to Europe and elsewhere. It is also ecologically safer since the tanker ships would avoid the trip from Russia to Mediterranean, they will be strained less and the possibility of oil leak would be limited. Delivery times would be faster as well.

The openly pro-US Bulgarian prime minister, stopped the project … “on environmental concerns” (although all studies were giving a green light to the project) because “the people of Burgas did not want it” and because it is not financially viable. It was called “Orthodox Pipeline” because Greece, Russia and Bulgaria are Orthodox Christian countries and the freezing was seen as an American attempt to block Russian expansion in the energy sector even if Greece and Bulgaria were also damaged. The extreme Protestant neo-conservatives in Washington instigated this hostile move against Orthodox countries.

Bulgaria, however, will have to pay penalties for blocking the project. The recent Iran oil embargo surfaced related issues, including the one of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline. The cost for transporting oil through this “Orthodox Pipeline” was calculated at $8 per tone which is almost the same to the one across the straits. The Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline was having higher cost and Turkey asks for a large share of the income. The US intervention in Bulgaria probably had Turkish support because it is forcing Russia not to seek alternative routes.

By pulling out of the project, Greek sources said, Bulgaria is obliged to pay penalties to Greece and Russia. The Greek officials were not the first to say that. Late last year Russian officials pointed out that the minimum penalty is $200.000.000. The maximum may reach the $1 billion level. The Bulgarian side already owed $7 million from its contribution to the project until now and at least the Russian side points out that they will get the Bulgarian government in International Court if they insist on not paying the fine, if the project is completely canceled.

The current embargo on Iranian oil and the global instability in the oil trade that will probably occur, highlight the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project with greater urgency. It would help the European Union achieve independence from the unstable region of Turkey (due to the Kurdish, Armenian and Greek problems it faces), but non-european (American) interests block it.

The Greeks see that they are dragged to a situation without immediate Greek concern and with no real ethical base. The Iranian nuclear programme is not a serious topic for the Greek society in the hierarchy of concerns. However the difficult economic situation (in which Iran is the only supplier of oil offering unlimited credit) is now seen as being manufactured by the EU and the US. Just to make an outline of the injustice the Greek public sees in the western attack against Greece and its reputation, we mention the following:

• Germany owes many hundreds of billions of euros to Greece from the money the Nazis stole (“Forceful loan” from occupied Greece to Nazi Germany). Hitler started repaying the “loan” back to Greece but after the German collapse, the next German governments do not discuss the German debt to Greece. This amount together with all recognized German financial obligations towards Greece, surpasses 700,000,000,000 (700 billion) euros, in today’s prices if we take into account the interest rates. There is NO EXAGERATION in this, this is money Germany REALLY owes to Greece.
• The corruption money from defence procurement, the C4I System for the 2004 Olympic Games, etc are many tens of billion of euros and European (especially German) companies have a large share in this money laundering. This is money from Greek taxpayers which went to the pockets of sponsors of European (and other) political parties.
• Part of the Greek bonds, are corruption payments in defence and public procurement projects to foreign companies-political parties.
• The Greeks DID NOT want to abandon drachma. They did not want the euro, because there was no benefit for Greece, on the contrary the Greek society was damaged. Goldman Sachs, with the (German-educated) prime minister Kostas Simitis and in knowledge of Washington and Berlin, altered the Greek financial data. Berlin wanted one more country into the Eurozone, Washington wanted Greece to be used as trigger if it wanted to create problems in the European Union.
• No western Media (including the BBC) published any of these at least to a comparable degree with the attacks against Greece

Greece was called to agree to serve foreign interests (of doubtful information and ethical basis), participate in the embargo and enter into an energy risk, while those who ask Greece to do these, deliberately put it into this difficult economic situation. The first thing that should be done, is to make sure, those who owe money to Greece would pay and Greece would not have any financial problems. The Greeks did not realize that the top EU level have more corruption.

Farosradio.gr

 


A Flashback to The Burgas-Alexandroupoli Pipeline Project: Who Dumped Whom

 

Russia Mothballs Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline Project
February 21st, 2011

Jamestown.org: On February 17, the stakeholders and supervisory board of the Russian-led Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline project shelved the project in all but name. The host countries, Bulgaria and Greece, had (each for its own considerations) recently suspended payments to the project company. The meeting decided to lay off staff and give up rented office space of the project company. Moscow has not given up officially on this project, and has scheduled a follow-up meeting for June. But Moscow does plan a pipeline via Turkey (the Samsun-Ceyhan project) as an alternative option (Interfax, Novinite, February 17).

Led by a consortium of Russia’s Transneft, Rosneft, and Gazpromneft, the shelved project envisaged building a trans-Balkan pipeline from Burgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast to Alexandropolis on the Greek Aegean coast. Vladimir Putin oversaw the launching of this project in 2006-2007 while president of Russia.

The line was intended for Kazakhstani and Russian oil, delivered by overland pipelines to Russia’s Black Sea coast at Novorossiysk, and requiring an outlet to the open sea. Those volumes are due to increase from production ramp-up in Kazakhstan and expansion of the Tengiz (Kazakhstan)-Novorossiysk pipeline. With the Turkish Straits already congested, and unable to accommodate more tanker traffic, the Burgas-Alexandropolis pipeline was planned as an extra outlet from the Black Sea, bypassing the Bosporus Strait.

The project envisaged moving at least 35 million tons of oil annually, on Russian medium-size tankers from Novorossiysk to Burgas, onward by pipeline from Bulgaria to Greece, and onto supertankers at the deep-water port of Alexandropolis.

This project would have resulted in the first-ever oil pipelines controlled by the Russian government in European Union countries. US and European companies, which account for most of oil production in Kazakhstan and have built the pipeline to Novorossiysk, would have depended on the Russian government for the terms of transit through the Burgas-Alexandropolis pipeline. Although situated in EU territory, this pipeline would have been immune to the EU’s legal and regulatory framework.

Greece eagerly cooperated with Russia on this project, but the financial crisis forced the Greek government in 2010 to suspend payments to the project company. Some in Athens, however, hold Bulgaria’s current government and the West responsible for the project’s demise. Greek Deputy Prime Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, speaking at a Greek-Russia Society conference last December, accused the Bulgarian government of deliberately stalling under “strong Western influence” and that of “international oil companies linked with the US government” (Theodore Tsakiris, “Burgas-Alexandroupolis: Death of a great pipeline project ?” European Energy Review, February 17).

Bulgaria’s right-of-center government of Boyko Borissov, which defeated the Socialist Party in July 2009, promptly suspended Bulgaria’s participation in all three Russian-led energy projects (Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline, South Stream gas pipeline, Belene nuclear power plant project) pending detailed review. Of the three projects, Burgas-Alexandropolis is the most sharply questioned in Bulgaria. The anticipated transit revenue is deemed too small to justify hurting the tourism-based economy on the Black Sea coast, which is of national importance to Bulgaria. It is feared that oil tankers shuttling off the beaches could discourage tourism, even before oil spills or accidents that are believed to be “waiting to happen.” Burgas and other municipalities on the Black Sea coast have voted against the project in specially called referendums.

The Russian-led Trans-Balkan Pipeline Consortium prepared the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment Study during 2010. Bulgaria’s Environment and Water Ministry, however, found multiple deficiencies and omissions in the study, and returned it to the project consortium on November 10 for further work. A resubmission was expected, but is not known to have materialized (Novinite, BTA, February 16, 17; European Energy Review, February 17). According to Bulgarian experts, the country would not have to pay compensation if it withdraws officially from the project on the basis of the environmental impact assessment.

Moscow structured the project company so as to guarantee Russian control. In January 2007, the state-controlled Transneft, Rosneft, and Gazpromneft formed the “Pipeline Consortium Burgas-Alexandropolis,” to act as project conveners. In March 2007, the intergovernmental agreement was signed in Athens, with Putin attending. In December 2007, the “Trans-Balkan Pipeline Consortium” was formed, with the three Russian companies holding an aggregate 51 percent (coequally divided between them). Bulgaria took a 24.5 percent stake, the Greek joint venture Helpe Thraki (which includes Hellenic Petroleum) 23.5 percent, and the Greek government a 1 percent stake. Bulgaria’s right-of-center government transferred the Bulgarian stake from certain interest groups into the Finance Ministry’s jurisdiction.

The project envisaged transporting 35 million tons of oil annually in the first stage, to increase to 50 million tons per year in a follow-up second stage, from Burgas to Alexandropolis. The line was to run for 280 kilometers, including 166 kilometers on Bulgarian territory. Project costs, initially estimated $900 million, rose to an estimated $1.5 billion (Novinite, February 9). The trans-Balkan project’s apparent demise should strengthen Turkey’s hand in negotiating the terms of the trans-Anatolian project, Samsun-Ceyhan, with Russia’s government and companies.

Thu, Dec 08 2011 09:07 CET Bulgaria’s Government has decided to withdraw from the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline as it is no longer considered financially and economically viable.

The decision was announced on December 7 2011 by Energy Minister Traicho Traikov and Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov after a Cabinet session.

“According to the analysis of the oil pipeline project, it cannot be implemented under the terms of the 2007 agreement,” Dyankov.

Bulgaria has offered to terminate the trilateral agreement with Russia and Greece by mutual consent. If the two countries reject the request, Bulgaria will pull out of the project in 12 months. Despite the withdrawal, Sofia will meet its financial commitments to its partners, Dyankov said.

The Cabinet also passed a decree to raise by 12.8 million leva the capital of Project Company Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline BG to settle its obligations to other shareholders in Trans Balkan Pipeline (TBP), the project company behind the oil pipeline.

According to Dyankov, there is no threat for Bulgaria to be penalised for its decision as the country had worked over a year with international companies and law offices.

Bulgaria’s decision to scrap the project comes a month after the Environment Ministry gave its approval to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project, submitted by Trans Balkan Pipeline.
Greece is ready to renegotiate the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to become profitable for Bulgaria
December 18, 2011 | Filed under: Geopolitics

Greeks are willing to renegotiate the conditions for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in order to realize the project, said Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change George Papakonstantinou, answering Victoria Mindova’s question “What is your position concerning the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project after Bulgaria’s withdrawal? ” Papakonstantinou replied, “The Burgas-Alexandroupolis project remains extremely important to us and we are willing to accomplish it. We are sorry for the specific position of the Bulgarian government at the moment and we would like the existing problems to be solved. We are ready to negotiate again with the other two parties to find an opportunity to realize the project in a different form.”

Greece continues to seriously express its willingness to realize the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline despite Bulgaria’s firm position that it would like to abandon the project. While the situation with the pipeline is being clarified, Greece is seeking ways to utilize unused deposits of mineral resources because, despite the goodwill of the government, the development of renewable energy sources is still lagging.

Greece is one of the European countries with significant deposits of mineral resources. The latest data show that the deposits in the country are worth € 28 billion at current prices, said Yiannis Maniatis, Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. 75% of the production of Greece, which corresponds to approximately € 1.5 billion, is exported. This sector employs 23,000 people directly and another 100,000 people indirectly. He believes the country is able to expand the extraction of mineral resources, which will significantly increase and improve the trade balance and the budget revenues.

There will be a ministerial invitation to tender for the development and extraction of gold, copper, silver and other metal mines in the area of ​​Kilkis by the end of the year. Initial estimates of operating revenue reached € 1.5 billion, which could be developed to reach turnovers of up to € 7 billion. Maniatis promised other government auctions would follow until March 2012. This will allow competitive private interests to enter the energy and extractive sector, which will break the state monopoly in this field.

Based on these plans, Maniatis expects that in the next 10 years, Greece would be able to meet between 20% – 30% of its energy needs from its own primary resources. “Every year, Greece spends about € 10-12 billion for imports of 99.5% of the oil products we need. The energy programme we have developed now will allow us to reduce its imports by 30% within 10 years due to the local production development.”

Another trick that can help the recovery of local economy and meet European Union targets for a cleaner environment is the renovation of old buildings. It improves energy efficiency of houses, reduces energy consumption and brings new life to the faded construction sector. The poorest households who cannot afford to repair or fix them own the most energy inefficient houses. “From this perspective, subsidizing the renovation is social policy. Materials and labour in this sector are mainly Greek, which will give additional impetus in recovering the local economy. By improving the energy efficiency of buildings alone, we can restore 15,000 jobs.”

Reforming the public sector functions and improving the public administration in Greece are of utmost importance. Now is the time, when the country can correct the mistakes and make a new start. In this sense, each ministry has a large amount of responsibilities that it should meet in order for the process to move forward.

The first concrete step by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change in the process of relieving the state bureaucracy is the change in the law permitting natural compliance. About 23,000 such permits upon submission of the initial project plan are issued in Greece each year, which is a huge number in comparison with France, for example, which issues about 2,000 permits per year. The difference is that now the Ministry will give more importance to the phased control than to the original project approval, which may subsequently be amended. “The formation of a provisional coalition government was an important step to restore economic stability in the country. It will not be achieved unless the different forces in the country leave Lucas Papademos to do the work in the best possible way. Instead of making plans for the next election, it would be better to think about the next generations,” said Maniatis in his commentary on the state of the political system in the country.

Source: grreporter.info

 


The Burgas Bombing: False Flag of a bigger project tied to the abandoned Pipeline?

 

This is a story, indeed a unique inconceivable story of human kind and simultaneously a diplomatic beast incomparable to any other. It is one of the various theories of “how we got to where we are and why we currently face crisis that seem insurmountable” [i] The breakdown of the world’s economic system and specifically of healthy nations, structured upon a phenomenally ideal world model is being pushed into a newly adventuress world order. It seems as the foundations of the “world- castle” are trembling; or more as a top secret mission in progress, before the omnipotence of those who will lose the most or from those that will gain the most. It is a story of intrigues and political game; but mostly a “chess game” of national dominance. It is the truth, similar to that ignored by those that experienced WWI and WWII. The enigma as set forth by major “unimportant” inspirations, and this is true, before a parent committing suicide for not being able to provide for his children. Under this consideration my intentions are far from blaming or implying but mostly attached to a quest for truth. The truth, million of people around the world are experiencing as an ostensive economic crisis.

The traditional “once upon a time” part of a common make-believe story is replaced by the pragmatic negotiations involving the new European energy security policy[ii]-the New European Transmission System. Among them were the construction plans of the Burgas- Alexandroupoli pipeline (Table 1),the Nabucco pipeline [iii](Table 2),and the South Stream (Table 3)…with an end, yet to be revealed. All three pipeline projects – and many others-were considered of critical importance, not only because they implied major strategic policy, but because they illustrated an invisible battle of interests between the Western world and Russia[iv]. One front, European Union and United States[v] backed up the Nabucco project[vi], because ‘it represents a diversion from the current methods of importing natural gas solely from Russia,”[vii] while Russia, logically, backed up Southern Steam. Greece comes into the scene when negotiations took place for the Burgas-Alexandroupoli project, and when she had to clarify her position; to align with the EU and US or to promote the Southern Steam, which will strengthen her strategic role[viii]. Eventually the Southern Stream was promoted to accelerate supply for the Greek market and to secure supply for Europe[ix] On the other hand Burgas-Alexandroupoli [x]agreement was settled between Vladimir Putin, Sergey Stanishev and Kostas Karamanlis( March 2007).[xi]

In September 2009, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis-being less than two years head of government-suddenly dissolved parliament and announced his resignation. According to his words “the need for painful measures to confront the economic crisis -even though signs of the Hellenic economic downslide were not visible at the time-and the opposition in parliament” drove him to announce national elections[xii] . The justification of his decision was published two years later: The reason was Pythia 1, a code name of his planned assassination.[xiii] FSB (Federal Security Service-Russia) had informed ΕΥΠ (NIS-National Intelligence Service-Greece) that they had “identified a plan of attack against former Prime Minister Mr. Karamanlis that intended to postponed or cancel the energy policy of the country”[xiv]

Two more events come to add a piece to a conspiracy; one is the secretly kept Dominique Strauss- Kahn interview on French Canal+, revealing the underground negotiations with the new elected Prime Minister[xv],before even being elected; resulting in his interesting removal from IMF. And the other is the accusations coming from EL STAT (Hellenic Statistical Authority); that the GDP deficit was altered as requested by the Prime Minister and the Financial Minister[xvi]. Apparently Greece’s behavior as a member of the EU and as a member of NATO, was not what we would have expected-nor EU and USA- amid the “current inertia in the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue”[xvii]

This information is part of a frame-up that definitely had dark and unknown sides needed to trap Greece in a “web of dept that ensures loyalty”[xviii] to the interests of others, and on an ensured default path that guarantees access to national assets and facilitates further limitation of sovereignty. But is “diso-bedience because of Southern Stream” the only reason? If not what other reason can there be? One reason can be the importance of her strategic geographical position which will inevitably link the “hydrocarbon prospects” of Eastern Mediterranean to the European Continent. Other important political reason is the formation of the Eurasian Union and the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum); that can regulate prices and energy sources, therefore weaken major powers globally. A blur third aspect- generated by Greece’s economic resemblance to the one and only path taken by all oil-producing countries is the possibility of oil and natural gas resources.

In the name of globalization and free world market, Greece has become the last three years a country in immediate need of money. It is oil history repeating itself; and the substance of the case, under the reformative allegation, is that concessions can be eased and institutional framework can be altered, just as require for ensuring access. This took flesh and blood by alterations in the legal framework. Firstly in 2011-as a term of the second memorandum[xix]- “ownership unbundling”[xx] [xxi] was voted in parliament. Even though European countries where allowed to choose among three alternatives, Greece was compelled to this one. Secondly the “robust research” granted to Hellenic Petroleum Co[xxii] was also altered, “enterprise of a gas system can also be a joint venture of two or more companies, that operate in two or more European member-states”[xxiii] in compliance with Directive 2009/73/EC. Interestingly, directive 2009/73/EC of European Parliament and of Council was introduced in July 2009; approximately two months before Prime Minister Karamanlis announced national elections and well before the Second Economic Stimulus package in order to constitute a term of the second memorandum[xxiv]. Of course there is a number of changes in the legislation and much more specialized provisions, even anticipated co-operate tax reduction of 20% granted for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons[xxv]. The open door policy was also introduced and the government “formed a national information system of Geospatial and Alphanumeric data” available to international investors according to the recently published book(2012) of former Undersecretary of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Maniatis Ioannis “to providing information for surveys done the last thirty years”.

Maniatis was appointed from Prime Minister Papandreou; the one that claimed in 12-11-2009 after a EU summit press conference that Greece does not have petroleum[xxvi]And he was not the only one, Deputy Prime Minister also referred to a journalist(who was voicing the existence of oil fields)in a rather ironic tone.[xxvii] Additionally the masquerade was multifaceted proving that the mass media were aligned with the government allegations and simultaneously proving the lack of independence in a democratic system. Few were practicing pure journalism in an attempt to illustrate what was actually going on. They referred to Hydrocarbon fields southeast of Crete (Herodotus basin), south of Crete and one south west of Crete near Libya.

According to Emeritus Professor of University of Crete Foskolos Antonis-based on information from the USGS and the IFP- the potential of the Herodotus basin is 1-3 trillion cubic feet equivalent to 19billion barrels. [xxviii] The “water mud volcanoes or «hydrocarbon volcanoes» of southern Crete, are important visible signs of gas sources feeding surrounding possible reservoir sedimentary formations”[xxix] While the third field, south west of Crete, near Gavdos island was considered from Libya as part of the concessions she was about to make in 2006.[xxx] Apart for Professor Foskolos and his team, who have studied and gathered geophysical information (aerial photos, aeromagnetic and satellite measurements) ,there is a number of theses and publications on the analysis of the geotectonic zones and carbonate sedimentations of various parts of Greece.[xxxi] The important of published geological information is seen as a tool for assessments[xxxii] in the USGS report on the World Petroleum Resource Project.

Since the discovery of the Mari-B, Tamar ,Dalit, Leviathan #1 and #3 field within the Levantine basin expectations have grown. Making Eastern Mediterranean basins the greatest discoveries in decades but also making it an area of intense conflict. Country Relations are tested. Upheaval and uncertainty is growing. Israel and Lebanon have entered a new dispute in an attempt to prove that the gas findings are within their E.E.Z.[xxxiii] .The scale is tipping towards Israel, making it a major exporter and Egypt an importer. Additionally Block-12 within the Aphrodite basin[xxxiv] has created serious conflict between Turkey and Cyprus that automatically puts Greece in the game too.

It was not until the September 2011 that former Prime Minister publicly confirmed the research inception of oil and natural gas[xxxv]in the Ionian and Southern Crete, without however giving further information. Still there is prejudice of exaggeration on the subject, making it minor for domestic print media and nonexistent for nationwide television broadcasting. Even when evidence indicate that the Eastern Mediterranean is the modernized “piece on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for the domination of the world”. The impulse towards climate change is a part of worldwide orientation towards new energy policy; and natural gas is the “bridging fuel in a transition to a carbon-constrained global economy” (Brenda Pierce-USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator). [xxxvi] And the estimated amounts of cubic feet rank the Nile Delta basin and the Levant basin as having “world-class potential for undiscovered natural-gas resources”(Brenda Pierce)[xxxvii].

The evidence and the potential of the Eastern Mediterranean have attracted many consortia and companies in all countries. In Greece the participation for geological and seismic surveys is significant. The first bid process involved Norwegian PGS and TGS,French CVVG Veritas, American IOGeophysical, DolphiGeophysical, Spec Partners Ltd. και Fugro Multicent Services AS.[xxxviii] And the second bid for research in the area of Ioannina, Patraikos Gulf and Katakolo involved eight offers from eleven 11 Greek and foreign consortia or companies, Energean Oil & Gas[xxxix], Petra Petroleum ,Schlumberger, Trajan Oil & Gas, Hellenic Petroleum, Melrose Resources Plc [xl],Arctic Hunter Energy Inc, KO Enterprises Inc, Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd. Edison International SpA and Grekoil Energy Ventures Ltd.[xli]

Now the essential backstage preparations have been completed; ready to embrace the business predators; providing nothing or a small slice of prosperity to Greece. Having a share is the optimistic side of the scenario, but the terms of the memorandums governed by English law provide the ground for a worse scenario. The inability to comply will lead to the seizure of state assets.

The fact that public ignored the secretly kept truth of the oil and natural potentials of Greek subsoil and subsea, is itself evident of a major game. Or even the persistent of government representatives and the media to create a false picture of the situation. It seems that at the oil alter all rights and all democratic ideals are encroached. This is the “resource curse” in action, not within its strict political interpretation but as a broader realist term. And “economic crisis” is a human construction for the benefit of large co-operations. It is a tool inspired to ignore governments and people throughout the world.Source

 


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