October 1, 2014

German occupation reparations to be determined by end of 2014

Greece's Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras, on Wednesday granted a two-month extension to parliamentary committee tasked with determining the German occupation reparations.

According to reports in the Greek press, the committee was expected to submit its report by the October 31st, 2014, where it would argue whether the Greeks state can demand reparations from Germany over the damages suffered and occupational loan.

The committee recently argued that the Greek efforts must be increased in order to inform the public, both domestically and internationally.

It should be reminded that in mid April, 2013, the Greek parliament unanimously agreed to formally ask Germany to pay back the money owed from the Second World War. This includes the war reparations as well as a forced occupation loan. A committee was formed despite the provocative statements made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the time claiming that Athens should avoid the issue of war reparations and rather concentrate on reforms. He was ofcourse weary over a top-secret report that was compiled at the behest of the Finance Ministry and leaked by the To Vima newspaper. The report suggested that Germany owes Greece at least 162 billion euros in World War II reparations.

Following the publication of the report, Schaeuble told Germany's Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper that the issue of war compensations has already been “settled.”

But the German Tagersspiegel newspaper, slammed the Berlin government's stance on the issue noting that the Nazis did more damage in Greece than in any other country they occupied. In fact the newspaper had said that Hitler’s forces were responsible for the death of countless citizens, or 70,000 Jews (who were taken to concentration camps), 300,000 people (who suffered frostbite and hunger because the German forces confiscated all food and fuel), and let us not forget that at least 50 percent of Greece’s infrastructure as well as 75 percent of the country's industry were totally destroyed.

In the document that was revealed in To Vima, the German Embassy responds to a note verbale that was issued by Greece on November 9, 1966 to Bonn about this very issue. In this document, it explicitly states that Greece never abandoned its right to seek war reparations (and/or compensations).

According to the newspaper, in October 1965 (and following previous meetings in September 1964 and March 1965,) discussions were held in Athens between Greece and Germany on the issue of war reparations (and/or compensations). To Vima says that the late George Papandreou and his son Andreas Papandreou (grandfather and father of George Papandreou, respectively), were also present at these meetings. It is suspected that they were there in order to discover what happened with the matter during Constantine Karamanlis' rule and possibly use this against the conservative government.

To Vima said that the Papandreous (father and son) never received a formal response from the German government because their term in government came to a quick end. Nonetheless, on March 31st, 1967, just three weeks before the Junta took over in Greece, the German document was handed over to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where it clearly states that Greece has never abandoned its intentions to seek war reparations (and/or compensations). Unfortunately, the political developments that followed in Greece in the weeks after that placed the issue (as well as a series of others) on the back burner for decades.

At the same time it allowed the socialists, and leftists to accuse the late Constantine Karamanlis of abandoning claims on German war reparations, when all the while he never did.

In its note verbale, dated March 31, 1967, Protocol No. 68/67, the German Embassy in Athens states to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs the following:
    "During the exchange of opinions between his Excellency the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Gerhard Schroeder, which took place in Athens on October 15, 1966, Greece, among other things, raised the issue of claims (war reparations) which the Bank of Greece states it has (information on) against Germany, and which derive from specific financial firms, (forced occupation loan), made during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.
Basically, Schroeder refers to several letters that were sent from the the Director of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Reinhardt, and dated September 30, 1964 to the late George Papandreou as well as to the Director of the same Department Dr Kaiser, and a March 26, 1965 letter to Professor and MP at the time Andreas Papandreou.

The letters refer to statements made by representatives of the Greek government in 1958 on the occasion of completion of the agreement between the German Government and Greece granting a credit of 200 million marks.

In view of the above agreed German economic assistance, the Germans interpreted the statements made by Greek representatives at the time and believed that future possible claims from the time of the German occupation would never be followed. But interpreting statements, and formally acknowledging them with documents is two different things.

The German federal government knows very well that interpretations cannot really hold up in a court of law, and they also know that the Greek government never had an intention of formally abandoning the claim for war reparations, (and/or other compensations).
    "It may be noted that the decision of the German government to provide a credit of 200 million DM was inspired by the friendly relations between Germany and Greece and the desire to help Greece, regardless of the legal situation which has been created by above Agreement (meaning the war reparations)."
The German document, according to the To Vima newspaper, totally -and without a shadow of a doubt- debunks all the myths (and socialist PASOK lies) that Greece had abandoned its claim to war reparations (and/or compensations) that were artfully cultivated in the past for obvious political reasons.

This incredible document only proves that Greece never waved its rights. At the same time it debunks the argument from Germany that the issue was closed with the 1960 Convention, since it was issued seven years later!

The issue of war reparations has been a contentious and legally complicated one for decades. Nazi Germany, which occupied Greece from 1941-44, forced Athens to extend it loans and give up gold reserves. There was also the question of the destruction of infrastructure and compensation claims filed by individuals who survived Nazi atrocities. As a result, Greece suffered greatly and unlike every other country Germany went to war with, only Greece has never been paid compensation.

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Gov't: Reports About "Jihadists" in Greece Have (So Far) Not Been Confirmed

All relevant authorities are on alert to track down any suspect activities, while information on Jihad terrorists being in Greece have not so far been confirmed, Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias told the Parliament.
     "The information regarding the presence of ISIS or ISIL members in our country has not so far been confirmed by the investigation of the relevant authorities," he said responding to a question by independent deputy Nikitas Kaklamanis.
He also gave clarifications on a website report which Kaklamanis referred to and which had photos of ISIS supporters holding Jihad black flags at Klafthmonos square.

According to Kikilias, "this photo was taken at a protest, held on August 31, 2012, initiated by the 'Community of Syrian Spring' association that organizes solidarity rallies for the people of Syria."

The ministry has been in close cooperation with other ministries and make use of the institutionalized channels of international cooperation to take any necessary and appropriate preventive or deterrent measure, he added.


CHRISTIANS UNITE - No Communion in N.Iraq for First Time in 2,000 Years

The ancient region of Nineveh in Iraq, one of the world's first Christian enclaves, has been emptied of its Christians. Islamic State terrorists have driven off or murdered the entire city's population of Christians. Across Iraq other Christians have fled en masse. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican Vicar in Iraq told the Telegraph "Last week there was no communion in Nineveh for the first time in 2,000 years. All are closed, all their people have run away."

Despite the extreme dangers, Christians are permitted to live in the Islamic State, but only if they pay a punishing tax. All who could flee did so. Christians in other parts of Iraq have also fled, lacking confidence in that nation's security forces. According to Canon White, only the poor remain, without the means to flee or pay any taxes. Should the Islamic State resume its advance, these people will simply have to choose between conversion and martyrdom.

Canon White expressed skepticism to The Telegraph that airstrikes would stop the Islamic State, and that he, along with many others, thought that troops would have to be on the ground to defeat the terrorists. He also acknowledged that nobody would want casualties, so he understands why no troops have been sent.

It isn't just Canon White who is pessimistic about the future of Christianity in Iraq. A priest named "Father Nawar" was on record in the Christian Post as saying "Christianity is finished in Iraq."

The priest told CP that Christians were dying for lack of food and resources, and that there were precious few resources to care for the estimated 200,000 Christians displaced by the Islamic State. A priest named "Father Nawar" was on record in the Christian Post as saying "Christianity is finished in Iraq."

The priest told CP that Christians were dying for lack of food and resources, and that there were precious few resources to care for the estimated 200,000 Christians displaced by the Islamic State.

The displacement of Christians is exacerbated by refugees from other populations as well, all fleeing the Islamic State. Most have retreated into Kurdish territories, some have crossed borders. A few lucky individuals have made it to Europe or other parts of the world, but most people are simply destitute, living in cities such as Kirkuk.

Those still in Iraq and in the Kurdish regions are absolutely dependent on outside aid. These people were forced to flee, leaving everything behind, including money and other valuables. Most have been provided with aid from sympathizers and international relief organizations, but the relief provided to them is minimal at best.

The Catholic Church has been instrumental in distributing aid, collecting donations from around the world to save Christians and others who are fleeing the Islamic State.

Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to help aid these Christians and aid is being collected for those in need. Despite all efforts, Christians have been eradicated from places they have known for two millennia. This is genocide, plain and simple. Even in spite of airstrikes, there seems to be no going back.


Greek state wins case against Athens Int'l Airport But AIA Says Charges Are "Outrageous"

Earlier this week, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the Greek state in its legal dispute with the "Athens International Airport (AIA)" company and the German "Hochtief" company which for 20 years was managing the construction and operation of the Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport in Spata. After judging the evidence, the court concluded that AIA has not paid Value Added Tax to the Greek state for airport services.

Various reports commenting on the matter revealed that there is still no clear picture as to how much the German company's debt to the Greek state is because the debts were suspended as a result of the legal action underway and the fact the Tax Bureau has yet to calculate the amounts owed until 2013. According to the same reports, more court rulings are still pending for unpaid VAT (for other years).

Greece's Administrative Court of Appeals also apparently rejected the allegations made by the German company's legal representatives, which claim that the Greek state violated "good faith" or the European law, and ruled that based on the Greek Constitution, the international arbitration to which the German management sought recourse cannot write off the administrative fines imposed on the company.

In response, AIA said it had "kept to and continues to keep all of its legal obligations and therefore does not owe the Greek state outstanding debts, from VAT or other direct or indirect taxes, social security contributions and city taxes."

But wait there is more. It also cited outstanding obligations, amounting to something like 500-600 million Euros, saying that they were "outrageously erroneous, products of imagination and unsubstantiated."

(Certainly there is more here than meets the eye, but it has yet to address the real corruption. Last September HellasFrappe featured a revealing article by John Ward from the Slog claiming that he had information from a senior engineering supplier directly involved in the construction of the airport that more than 50% of the entire development cost was used to give politicians, purchasing directors, bureaucrats and minor officials a tax-free bung. In fact John revealed that not only was the construction of the airport overpriced, 1.15 billion Euros apparently disappeared in the pockets of officials, after a process of bidding for contracts that was “corrupt from start to finish”. We are obviously not surprised here at HellasFrappe because many of the contracts that were formulated by the then Minister Costas Laliotis -under the PASOK Simitis government- do not only have a stench of corruption attached to them but allowed the corrupt Greek oligarchs that have held our country hostage all these years rise to power! Read the article by clicking HERE)

ANALYSIS - Hong Kong's "Occupy Central" is a Western backed Sedition

credit LD
The goal of the US (or the West) in Hong Kong, says geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci is more than clear. In his opinion everything that is unfolding in this area of the world over the past few days is part of a plan that wants to turn the island into an epicenter of foreign-funded subversion with which to infect China's mainland more directly. He says that the very organizations, and political parties that the "Occupy Central" (or in this case Occupy Hong Kong) movement is associated with are the creation of the US State Department through the very controversial -and shady- NDI. If the protests are successful, in his opinion, and the Chinese central government agrees to allow the leaders of this foreign-orchestrated charade to run for office, then Hong Kong will not be run by the people, but rather by foreign interests (Washington, Wall Street and London). He also reveals how these protests are just one of many ongoing gambits that the West is running against Beijing. (Basically chaos in Tibet, the region of Xinjiang - referred to as "East Turkistan" as it is called by violent separatists the US backs - and Hong Kong). The goal: To make Hong Kong ungovernable at any cost, especially at the cost of the people living there. And all this not because that is the goal of some idiots who claim they want democracy, but because that is the overall goal by those funding and directing the movement from abroad. This is a must read!

(Tony Cartalucci - NEO, LD) - Protesters of the "Occupy Central" movement in Hong Kong shout familiar slogans and adopt familiar tactics seen across the globe as part of the United States' immense political destabilization and regime change enterprise. Identifying the leaders, following the money, and examining Western coverage of these events reveal with certainty that yet again, Washington and Wall Street are busy at work to make China's island of Hong Kong as difficult to govern for Beijing as possible.

Naming Names: Who is Behind "Occupy Central?" 

Several names are repeatedly mentioned amid coverage of what is being called "Occupy Central," the latest in a long line of US-engineered color revolutions, and part of America's vast, ambitious global geopolitical reordering which started in earnest in 2011 under the guise of the so-called "Arab Spring."

Benny Tai, a lecturer of law at the University of Hong Kong, is cited by various sources across the Western media as the primary organizer - however there are many "co-organizers" mentioned alongside him.

The South China Morning Post in an article titled, "Occupy Central is on: Benny Tai rides wave of student protest to launch movement," mentions most of them (emphasis added):
    Political heavyweights including Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, former head of the Catholic diocese Cardinal Jospeh Zen Zi-kiun and Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming addressed the crowd.
The Post also mentions (emphasis added):
    Jimmy Lai Chi-Ying, the embattled boss of Next Media who is under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over donations to pan-democrat politicians, said he arrived immediately after a call from Martin Lee Chu-ming.
Benny Tai regularly attends US State Department, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiary the National Democratic Institute (NDI) funded and/or organized forums. Just this month, he spoke at a Design Democracy Hong Kong (NDI-funded) conference on political reform. He is also active at the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) - also funded by NDI. CCPL's 2013-2014 annual report lists Benny Tai as attending at least 3 of the center's functions, as well as heading one of the center's projects.

Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai, and Joseph Zen are all confirmed as both leaders of the "Occupy Central" movement and collaborators with the US State Department. Martin Lee, founding chairman of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong, would even travel to the United States this year to conspire directly with NED as well as with politicians in Washington. Earlier this year, Lee would even take to the stage of NED's event "Why Democracy in Hong Kong Matters." Joining him at the NED-organized event was Anson Chan, another prominent figure currently supporting the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong's streets.

Media mogul Jimmy Lai was reported to have met with Neo-Con and former president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz in June 2014. China Daily would report in an article titled, "Office opposes foreign interference in HK," that:
    A special edition of Eastweek showed Lai, owner of Next Media and Apple Daily, meeting Paul Wolfowitz, a former US deputy secretary of defense in George W. Bush’s administration. The pair met on Lai’s private yacht for five hours in late May.
    Wolfowitz, who was also president of the World Bank between 2005 and 2007, is well-known in the US for his neo-conservative views and belief in a unilateral foreign policy. Wolfowitz also held the post of under secretary of defense between 1989 and 1993. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Lai would also seek Wolfowitz' help in securing various business deals in Myanmar. The South China Morning Post in their article, "Jimmy Lai paid Paul Wolfowitz US$75,000 for help in Myanmar," reported that:
    Leaked documents show Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying paid former US deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz US$75,000 for his help with projects in Myanmar.
    According to a July 22, 2013, remittance notice by the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank, Wolfowitz received the money from Lai as "compensation for services in regards to Myanmar".
Lai's liasons with notorious Neo-Con Wolfowitz should be no surprise - as NED, the principle director of Washington's vast portfolio of political agitators worldwide is rife with Neo-Cons who intermingle both on NED's board of directors, as well as in various other corporate-financier funded think tanks. NED itself is merely a front, couching geopolitical and corporate-financier interests behind the cover of "promoting freedom" and "democracy" around the world.

There is also "student leader" Joshua Wong, who was arrested amid the protests. Wong has had his career tracked by the NDI's "NDItech" project since as early as 2012. In a post titled, "In Hong Kong, Does "Change Begin with a Single Step"?," NDI reports:
    Scholarism founder Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 15, has become an icon of the movement, and his skillful interactions with media have been memorialized and disseminated on Youtube. Through this page, Hong Kong youth have coalesced around common messages and images – for example, equating MNE with “brainwashing” and echoing themes reminiscent of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.
Wong's work serves to challenge attempts by Beijing to reestablish Chinese institutions on the island, preserving Western-style (and co-opted) institutions including the education system.

The aforementioned Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee is also entwined with the US NED, regularly attending forums sponsored by NED and its subsidiary NDI. In 2009 she was a featured speaker at an NDI sponsored public policy forum hosted by "SynergyNet," also funded by NDI. In 2012 she was a guest speaker at the NDI-funded Women's Centre "International Women's Day" event. The Hong Kong Council of Women (HKCW) itself is also annually funded by the NDI. Just this year, should would also find herself associated with CCPL, presenting at one of its functions beside "Occupy Central" leader Benny Tai himself.

In addition to SynergyNet, CCPL, and HKCW, there are several other US-funded NGOs supporting, legitimizing, and justifying "Occupy Central," or hosting those leading it. Among them is the US NED-funded "Hong Kong Transition Project" which claims it is "tracking the transition of Hong Kong people from subjects to citizens." In name and mission statement alone, the goal of the US in Hong Kong is clear - to turn Hong Kong into an epicenter of foreign-funded subversion with which to infect China's mainland with more directly.

The Transition Project was tasked with legitimizing Occupy Central's "pro-democracy referendum" conducted earlier this year - which then served as justification for increasing unrest on Hong Kong's streets. Guardian in a June 2014 article titled, "Hong Kong's unofficial pro-democracy referendum irks Beijing," would report:
    About 730,000 Hong Kong residents – equivalent to a fifth of the registered electorate – have voted in an unofficial "referendum" that has infuriated Beijing and prompting a flurry of vitriolic editorials, preparatory police exercises and cyber-attacks.
    Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), the pro-democracy movement that organised the poll, hopes to pressure Beijing into allowing Hong Kong's 7.2 million residents to choose their own leader by 2017. If Beijing refuses, OCLP says, the movement will mobilise at least 10,000 people next month to block the main roads in Central, a forest of skyscrapers housing businesses and government offices on Hong Kong island's northern shore.
The Transition Project links with other US-funded organizations, including the Hong Kong-based "think tank" Civic Exchange. Funded by Exxon, the US State Department's NDI, the British Council, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Morgan Stanley, Citi Group, the British Consulate itself, and many others, its claim of being "Hong Kong's independent public policy think tank" is scandalous.

The Agenda: What Does "Occupy Central" Really Want?

US NDI openly states on its own page dedicated to its political meddling in Hong Kong that:
    In 2005, NDI initiated a six-month young political leaders program focused on training a group of rising party and political group members in political communications skills. In 2006, NDI launched a District Council campaign school for candidates and campaign managers in the lead-up to the 2007 elections.
    NDI has also worked to bring political parties, government leaders and civil society actors together in public forums to discuss political party development, the role of parties in Hong Kong and political reform. In 2012, for example, a conference by Hong Kong think tank SynergyNet supported by NDI featured panelists from parties across the ideological spectrum and explored how adopting a system of coalition government might lead to a more responsive legislative process.
Indeed, the very organizations, forums, and political parties the "Occupy Central" movement is associated with and led by are the creation of foreign interests - specifically the US State Department through NDI. Since "democracy" is "self-rule," and every step of "Occupy Central" has seen involvement by foreign interests, "democracy" is surely not the protest's true agenda.

Instead, it is "soft" recolonizationaudr by Washington, Wall Street, and London. If "Occupy Central" is successful and Beijing ever foolishly agrees to allowing the leaders of this foreign-orchestrated charade to run for office, what will be running Hong Kong will not be the people, but rather foreign interests through a collection of overt proxies who shamelessly sustain themselves on US cash, political backing, and support across the West's vast media resources.

The West's Long War With China 

"Occupy Central" is just one of many ongoing gambits the US is running against Beijing. A visit to the US NED site reveals not one, but four pages dedicated to meddling in China's internal politics. NED's activities are divided among China in general, Tibet, Xinjiang - referred to as "East Turkistan" as it is called by violent separatists the US backs - and Hong Kong.

All of NED's funding goes to politically subversive groups aligned to and dependent on the West, while being hostile toward Beijing. They range from "monitoring" and "media" organizations, to political parties as well as fronts for violent extremists.  And as impressive as this network of political subversion is, it itself is still but a single part of a greater geopolitical agenda to encircle, contain, and eventually collapse the political order of Beijing and replace it with one favorable to Wall Street and Washington.

As early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called "Pentagon Papers" released in 1969, it was revealed that the conflict was simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China. While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere.

This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral” where it outlines China’s efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in the “international system” as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation.

This includes funding, arming, and backing terrorists and proxy regimes from Africa, across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and even within China’s territory itself. Documented support of these movements not only include Xinjiang separatists, but also militants and separatists in Baluchistan, Pakistan where the West seeks to disrupt a newly christened Chinese port and pipeline, as well as the machete wielding supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s Rakhine state - yet another site the Chinese hope to establish a logistical hub.

Meddling in Thailand and stoking confrontation between China and an adversarial front including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan are also components of this spanning containment policy.

Whatever grievances those among "Occupy Central's" mobs may have, they have forfeited both their legitimacy and credibility, not to mention any chance of actually achieving progress.

Indeed, as the US-engineered "Arab Spring" has illustrated, nothing good will come of serving insidious foreign interests under the guise of "promoting democracy."

The goal of "Occupy Central" is to make Hong Kong ungovernable at any cost, especially at the cost of the people living there - not because that is the goal of the witless though well-intentioned participants being misled by Washington's troupe of seditious proxies, but because that is the goal of those funding and ultimately directing the movement from abroad.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” and Land Destroyer.

Dimitris Avramopoulos On Migration Priorities

Responding to reporter's questions on Tuesday from from the European Parliament's Civil Liberties and Home Affairs Committee during confirmation hearings in Brussels, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Greek Commissioner-designate, (who is being considered for the portfolio of migration and home affairs) said hat this post is crucial amid increasing migration flows and international security concerns (especially for Greece).
      "We need to keep Europe safe and secure," he said, adding, that "this must be achieved in full respect of fundamental rights, in compliance with the Schengen rules that allow people to travel without internal border controls, and without building a ‘Fortress Europe’."
Avramopoulos, who still holds the post of Greece's Defense Minister, also noted the need for Europe to assume a unified approach on migration, describing legal migration as “a fence” against illegal immigration.

His appointment would be confirmed later in the day, just several weeks ahead of a final vote on the new European Commission which is expected to be held on October 22.

OPINION - Turkey: Is Ankara The Jihadists' Fifth Column in NATO?

By Joseph Klein (Frontpage Magazine) - Turkey's autocratic Islamist president, Tayyip Erdogan, has allowed Turkey's border to become a passageway for jihadist fighters streaming into Syria to join ISIS and the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra.

Oil from fields in Iraq and Syria under ISIS control has been regularly transported into Turkey, and sold to black market traders at below international oil market prices. Turkey itself is reportedly a major buyer of the cheap black market oil. The income from ISIS's oil sales through the black market, as much as $30 million a month, helps finance ISIS's expansion, making Turkey one of ISIS's key bankrollers and enablers.

Turkey has also allowed ISIS recruiting networks operating online and through religious study groups to flourish within its borders. Turkey's Milliyet newspaper reported that as many as 3,000 Turks have joined ISIS. For a government that has cracked down harshly on Kurdish dissidents and on journalists reporting inside Turkey who dare to question Erdogan's policies, Erdogan's regime has not appeared to have discouraged ISIS recruitment within its borders or the flow of recruits from Turkey, and the flow of recruits from other countries traveling through Turkey, who are joining ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Despite pressure from the United States, Erdogan has held back from making any significant contributions to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, fearing that Syria's Assad regime and Kurds would benefit to Turkey's detriment. Even after Turkey secured the release of its citizens held by ISIS -- reportedly through a prisoner exchange with ISIS -- Turkey is not acting like an active NATO partner.

Turkey may now decide to provide a show of token support to the coalition to humor Obama and win U.S. support for Turkey's bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council next year. However, the fact is that Erdogan is on the side of the jihadists and will use a seat on the Security Council to push an agenda that is both pro-Islamist and anti-Israel.

Erdogan's active support of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood speaks for itself. And if there were any doubt where Erdogan's sympathies lie, one only need to take a look at his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week.

Instead of expressing moral outrage at the jihadists' slaughters in Iraq and Syria, for example, Erdogan engaged in a gratuitous attack on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who had responded to mass demonstrations in Egypt demanding an end to the theocracy that the jihadists were seeking to impose forcibly on Egyptian citizens. Erdogan was upset that his Muslim Brotherhood jihadist buddy Mohamed Morsi was no longer Egypt's leader:
    "The United Nations as well as the democratic countries have done nothing but watch the events such as overthrowing the elected president in Egypt and the killings of thousands of innocent people who want to defend their choice. And the person who carried out this coup is being legitimized. If we are going to defend people who come to power through coups, then I ask the question why we exist as the United Nations."
Erdogan's pettiness was evidenced by reports that he refused to attend a luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week when he learned he would be sitting at the same table as President Sisi.

Instead of playing a constructive role, like Egypt did, in trying to bring an end to the conflict in Gaza on terms that were not a complete give-away to Hamas's demands, Erdogan did what he could to undermine Egypt's efforts. He has previously referred to President Sisi as a "tyrant" who could not be trusted to broker a cease-fire.

Egypt's foreign ministry put out a statement after Erdogan's General Assembly speech exposing Erdogan's hidden agenda to restore the Ottoman Empire's glory days of the past:
    "There is no doubt that the fabrication of such lies and fabrications are not something strange that comes from the Turkish President, who is keen to provoke chaos to sow divisions in the Middle East region through its support for groups and terrorist organizations. Whether political support or funding or accommodation in order to harm the interests of the peoples of the region to achieve personal ambitions for the Turkish president and revive illusions of the past."
Erdogan told the Council on Foreign Relations, in a speech he delivered a day before his General Assembly address, that everything would have been hunky-dory if only the Ottoman Empire had remained intact. He said that "we see significant crises taking place in the Middle East and Eastern Europe today, and up until 100 years ago, these areas were governed from the Ottoman capital, Istanbul. The Palestinian issue, the problems in Iraq and Syria, Crimea, the Balkans are all issues that emerged following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire."

Erdogan has in the past evoked the imagery of the Battle of Manzikert as a symbol for Turkish youth to look up to and emulate. The Battle of Manzikert occurred in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks decisively defeated the leading Christian power of that era, the Byzantine Empire.

In sum, Erdogan shares the same goal as ISIS -- the restoral of an Islamic caliphate -- even if they ultimately spar over who will control the caliphate.

Read More at : frontpagemag.com

Balkan & Adriatic Summit On Oil & Gas Opens in Athens

The third edition of the "Balkans and the Adriatic Oil & Gas Summit" began on Wednesday in Athens and expects to provide all those interested with an overview of the fiscal and legal framework of the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, along with updates on current or future energy projects in the area.

The Summit that is expected to wrap up on from October 3rd, is expected to offer a unique networking platform where delegates from different ministries are going to come together in order to discuss the changes in legislation and will serve as a platform from where experts can come to showcase how their operations work in the Balkan region.

Addressing the summit, Greece's Minister of Environment Yiannis Maniatis pointed out the need for regional cooperation in the sector of exploration, while he also noted that positive news in one country can bring benefits to all the countries in the region. Maniatis also stressed that prospects in the region are from encouraging to extremely positive, as well as attract the interest of small and big oil companies.

TRAGEDY - Are Copts Fleeing Egypt?

"The emigration of Egypt's Copts is neither wrong nor dangerous; emigration is a human right. Forcible migration, however, is dangerous," Kamal Zakher, a researcher in Coptic affairs, said at a Sunday discussion on Coptic emigration. The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) held a seminar on the short documentary "Emigration of Roots," which tackled the emigration of Copts since the January 25 Revolution in 2011.
    "The Nasserite regime neglected the fact that Egypt is a multi-cultural country. Since then, the idea of the one rule, the one thought and the one direction took over," Zakher said.
Customary sessions replace law
    "It is dangerous that the rule of law diminishes in favor of customs," Zakher said, commenting on customary reconciliation sessions, which he said have become a tradition, especially in rural areas and in Upper Egypt, when a sectarian clash erupts, even if it is originally a merely criminal case.
In Upper Egypt, the concept of tahr, meaning revenge or blood debt, dictates that if a family member is killed, a member of the killer's family must die, which can often spiral into cycles of violence. Police and court procedures often do not sufficiently redress families' honor, so reconciliation meetings are seen as a practical means to curb violence and preserve face in the community.

Such sessions are held between the conflicting parties, local officials, and Muslim and Christian clerics to conclude "reconciliation."
    "Unjust conditions are imposed on Christians in these customary sessions but they accept them because they are afraid," said Mina Thabet, a researcher at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF.)
Forcible displacement of Copts in some cases a result of customary sessions, Thabet added.

On Aug. 14, 2013, dozens of churches and Coptic properties were burned down and hundreds of Christians were attacked and intimidated in several governorates following the dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in, in what many saw as retaliatory attacks.

Delga, a town in Minya, was one of the areas that bore the brunt of Islamists wrath at the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

After repeated pleas by the town's Copts and reports of arson, movement restrictions, displacement, armed robbery and forcible levies, security forces raided the town in September, arresting dozens of the alleged assailants.

Dozens of Delga Coptic families have not returned to their homes since then because they are afraid, their homes are damaged, or because Muslim locals occupied them, according to Thabet.

In June, a Muslim family in Matareya, Dakahlia, placed construction materials in front of a furniture store owned by a Christian; some furniture was exposed to dust, reported to Sada el-Balad.

Dozens were injured in subsequent clashes, and a Christian killed a Muslim; a number of media reported that this killing was an accident.

The customary reconciliation session compelled the Christian family to slaughter 100 camels and five calves, and provide 134 acres and 1 million EGP ($139,600) to build an orphanage as a donation to the residents of Matariya.

Read more at: http://thecairopost.com/

GOOD - Supreme Court Launches Investigation Into Why Greek Mayors Are Refusing Audits

Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani launched a preliminary investigation into why specific Greek mayors have been refusing to check the backgrounds of their public sector employees (certificates, diplomas, credentials, etc), whose contracts have been converted from fixed-term to indefinite.

The five municipalities that suspiciously refuse to cooperate with auditors are the area of Halandri (a suburb in northern Athens), the area of Nikea (a suburb in Piraeus), the area of Zografou in central Athens, the city of Larisa in central Greece and the city of Patras in the Peloponnese.

(It should be noted that three of these five mayors were fully supported by SYRIZA -surprise, surprise- at the recent municiple elections, one was backed by DIMAR -another radical Leftist party- and the last one was supported from the Greek Communist Party of Greece. In other words, all five mayors are backed from radical Leftists groups who we all know only want to cause chaos throughout the country).

According to press reports, the prosecutor wants to find out whether or not these mayors have committed the offenses of breach of trust and misconduct.

As a result, Koutzamani forwarded the related files that were sent by the Minister of Administrative Reform Kyriakos Mitsotakis last week to various prosecution authorities in Athens, Piraeus, Patras and Larissa.

Mitsotakis apparently sent the files of these (five) mayors to the country's top court because they refused to implement an evaluation scheme for civil servants, in a move likely to strain even further relations between the government and municipal officials.

The Minister had also warned that prosecutors would soon look into the files of all of those who resist the plan, while he also slammed SYRIZA backed Attica Governor Rena Dourou for actually supporting these mayors.

In fact SYRIZA has rejected the Ministry’s move with regard to permanent contracts, arguing that all the municipal employees be allowed to maintain their positions given that they had since been working for the municipalities for the past 10 years, regardless of their credentials of course.

In a statement that was released last week and which supported the mayors, SYRIZA even said that the it would provide "political" backing to the mayors and even accused Mitsotakis of conducting a witch hunt.

September 30, 2014

Roma Protests in Halandri - They threaten Not To Leave Illegally Occupied Land

A decision to finally demolish the illegal Roma camp in the area of Halandri (a suburb in northern Athens) sparked conflict between the police and members of the Roma community early on Tuesday morning. According to reports, more than 40 protesters gathered at Mesogeion Avenue to stage a protest by torching rubber tyres and blocking traffic.

The truth is that the Roma camp has been in the region for almost four decades and until today the issue was never really tackled by local or federal officials. Things have obviously changed since a decision was recently adopted to transfer the camp from the Mint to the area of Megara (in Western Attica) but as you can all see it was met with the Roma community’s anger and disapproval.

The General Secretary of the Decentralized Administration of Attica, Manolis Angelakas, rendered the settlement as illegal and in violation of property laws, however the members of the community state that moving them to an isolated region would distance them from schools and medical services.

(They of course forget that they have settled in the area illegally.)

Of course this is overlooked by some Greek politicians (or wannabes) who have never respected the law. In fact they say that the demolition of the settlement is in direct contrast to Greece’s commitments to the United Nations.


For instance... Halandri’s Mayor Simos Roussos (who probably needs their votes to be reelected) is one of the people against the arbitrary removal of these Roma citizens stating that “a solution can’t be found in such an authoritarian way and by such means.” He believes that the decision isn’t viable and believes that the move could be in retaliation to the fact that he was one of the mayors opposed to the government’s evaluation scheme for permanent public servants in his municipality.

Meanwhile, government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi implored the mayor not to get involved on the matter while being interviewed on MEGA channel on Tuesday morning and claimed that the Roma gypsies have occupied private property. She also accused the main opposition party SYRIZA of supporting them “because they are looking for a source of lawlessness”.

Unfortunately following talks, authorities agreed to let the Roma stay in the camp for the time being and on their part the Roma agreed to let authorities demolish 12 abandoned homes in the camp. Greek authorities also vowed to find a proper site for the population’s rehousing, which will both meet sanitary standards and be located close to educational institutions. Basically... the government once again chickened out because of the fear of losing the Roma vote.

(Editor's Note: Why the hell would Greek tax payers agree to give anyone better living conditions when we cannot even make ends meet at the end of the month? If the Roma people want fairer living conditions, -such as parks, schools, running water, electricity, and green pastures- tthen they should rent a home somewhere in the city -even Halandri- and experience all that they desire by PAYING their way everyday as we do, and not by illegally occupying land, stealing electricity and freeloading off of the backs of the rest of the country. Greek citizens are not obligated to provide them with free running water and electricity, nor can we accept paying for land while they illegally occupy it. If they truely want to be treated equally then they have to pay their fair share. And finally SYRIZA should stop siding with forces that only want chaos for this country... We backed the Greek government on this decision and hoped that they not back down on this issue, but as you can see... they did. Sickening!)

LOOK OUT SOCCER FANS - Doing the Impossible, Holding FIFA Accountable

By Binoy Kampmark (Global Research) - There is a sense of frustration in bringing that unruly and labyrinthine football entity known as FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) into the world of squeaky clean finance.  It resists two terms with an almost tribal enthusiasm: accountability and transparency.

Both concepts are intrinsically linked – that of transparency being a means to keep accountability on the straight and narrow; accountability making it easier to be transparent.  The operating rationale of FIFA has been to reject both concepts.  When the football players start dribbling the ball, the bureaucrats are forgotten.

Academics have ventured into this field with ponderous unease and postulated several models of accountability (Roger Pielke Jr. in Sport Management Review suggests seven), though this is by no means reliable.[1] A rather simple view is put forth by R. Grant and R. O. Keohane in the American Political Science Review (2005), though their recipe is intended as a broad splash over a range of fields

Accountability “implies that some actors have the right to hold other actors to a set of standards, to judge whether they have fulfilled their responsibilities in light of those standards, and to impose sanctions if they determine that those responsibilities have not been met.”

The whole point of FIFA is that it resists theorisation on an easy model in a world of opaque global governance.  It is, in itself, an organism of considerable sophistication, part thief and part bargain hunter.  It also plays the best of games, having voices within it who sing the song of transparency without having the vote to push it through.  Its church is broad enough to tolerate dissent without actual change.

Michael Garcia, the ethics chief beavering into FIFA’s bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reminded those who cared to listen that his report ought to be released in full.  How utterly idiosyncratic of him, and how demonstratively ignorant.

According to Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the adjudicatory arm of the ethics committee, only four people have laid eyes on Garcia’s 350-page report, and the fewer eyes the better.  It could be destined for the archives, the incinerator, or a lonely life as a classic on a shelf.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who is on FIFA’s executive committee, is one who has taken Garcia’s line, along with Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and the Concacaf president, Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands.
      “If we’re going to truly support the idea of transparency and change within FIFA, [the report] has to be made public in the truest meaning of the word.”[2]
But no one, it seemed, had asked the FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Recently he suggested that,
     “There was not any request from any of these members to publish this report.”
Then, the transparency advocates suddenly vanished – Gulati, when asked about Blatter’s position, seemed to have lost his tongue.

It should surprise no one, student of impartial observer of the institution, that FIFA has its own code of ethics, including proscriptions against the acceptance on the part of officials of “bribes” or “bribing third parties”.

Clause 12 prohibits officials from accepting commissions, or promises of such, while negotiating deals connected with FIFA duties.  Officials have been keen to exploit the lack of definition as to what constitutes “bribe” or “bribing”. In such cases, relativity is king.

Far more representative are such instances as FIFA’s Audit and Compliance committee, a watchdog which, when watched, was found wanting.  Earlier this month, Canover Watson, one of eight members of the committee, was suspected, in the words of anti-corruption commissioner David Baines of the Cayman Islands, of “breach of trust contrary to section 13 of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law, as well as abuse of public office… and conflict of interest.”[3]  There was also a strong whiff of money laundering, though Watson remains defiant.

Given FIFA’s Swiss base, and increasing hostility shown by law makers to its practices in the country, change may well be pressed or coerced through.

While Switzerland may have a warm reputation to the making and conserving of money, the legal committee of the Parliament’s lower house has been busy trying to close the loop on money laundering activities.  Transparency International feels it could be busier, suggesting the public registration of information on the beneficial ownership of limited liability companies, and the abolition of bearer shares.[4]

For all of this, the stick in the mud executive led by Blatter, who increasingly resembles a stone god of antiquity, remains well versed in tactics of simulated inertia.  Even Garcia’s own probing efforts had proven incomplete, at least when it came to interviewing all 22 executive members behind the fateful decisions.  Some were never reached.  For the cover-up artists and charlatans of the world, FIFA offers a doctoral-level guide to deception and dissimulation.  It may take more than the Swiss laws to stun the habit.  At the very best, the organisation might just decamp.

The author, Dr. Binoy Kampmark, was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

[1] http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2013.01.pdf
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/24/michael-garcia-fifa-investigation-public-world-cup
[4] http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/switzerland-urged-to-tighten-its-money-laundering-laws/40585182

Greece Slams Reports on FYROM Dispute - Russia Vetos Addition of FYROM in NATO

There is definitely something brewing with the ongoing FYROM name dispute and once again -believe it or not- it all ties to geopolitics, natural gas pipelines and dirty games by Western war mongers (example: Kissinger and Soros). For Greece, the dispute is over FYROM's use of the name "Macedonia" which we all know implies territorial claims (and expansionist plans) in our northern region with the same name, for Moscow the issue is totally geopolitical and for FYROM (as we all will soon learn) it is not about identity but more about which gas pipelines pass through its borders.

Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday slammed recent reports regarding the ongoing negotiations in the FYROM name dispute, and once again reiterated our country’s position of a composite name with a geographical qualifier. In a statement, the Ministry argued that such a composite name would be used erga omnes, domestically and internationally, and should include a geographical qualifier before the word “Macedonia”, rather than “Democracy”.

At the same time the Ministry underlined that the current, temporary name by which FYROM was inducted in the UN in 1993 includes epithets prior to the term “Republic”, rather than “Macedonia”. It adds that the temporary name is not used erga omnes, but only in international organizations, treaties and meetings, rather than in the FYROM’s interior (this also includes the bilateral relations with other countries which have recognized FYROM’s so-called constitutional name.)

The Greek Ministry also said that the present situation is in violation of international law and must be addressed.

In a lively twist of events, and for the first time in history, Russia officially declared that it was against the expansion of NATO into the Balkans and especially in FYROM! This stance goes against the Western recognition of FYROM as well as vindicates the position that was adopted by the previous government of Costas Karamanlis when he openly vetoed FYROM's entrance to NATO in the face of George Bush Jr. at the Bucharest Summit in 2008.

In fact Russia made it clear that NATO cannot expand its influence in the Balkans as well as Eastern Europe "otherwise there will be a corresponding expansion of Russia and its allies in other areas, such as Transnistria in Moldova, Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, and then in Russian regions now belonging to Ukraine Administrative such as Kharkiv, Kherson and the Odessa."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview that a possible expansion of NATO in countries such as Bosnia, FUROM and Montenegro would be "challenge", while he underlined that Moscow opposes any expansion of NATO to all the former communist countries in eastern and southeastern Europe.

(It should be reminded that Montenegro, FYROM and Bosnia seek to join the Western military alliance, following the steps of Albania and Croatia who joined in 2009).  

Asked about the integration of the three countries into NATO, Lavrov told the Bosnian "Dnevni Avaz" newspaper that:
     "With regard to the expansion of NATO, I think the error is a challenge."
     "It is, somehow, an irresponsible policy that undermines the determination to create a system of equal and common security in Europe, equality for everyone regardless of whether a country is a member of that or of any other coalition."
Lavrov confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to make an official visit to Serbia in mid-October on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the release of the Yugoslav Partisans and the Soviet army from Nazi occupation.

From all the nations from the former Yugoslavia, only Serbia is Russia's closest ally, and obviously it does not seek NATO membership.

(It is more than clear that Russia is determined to put an end to American expansion designs in the Balkans, and is striking against all this Western imperialism by encircling the US and making corresponding moves in Latin America.)

But this might not be as easy as it sounds.

The West is determined to pull through on Kissinger's and Soros' plans in the Balkans and believe it or not folks the issue of FYROM is not about a nation of people who seek a name for their nation, but more about a nation that seeks to become an energy hub for various gas pipelines to Europe!

Sounds too far-fetched?

Well... It's not.

At the weekend, and on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly, a meeting was held between Greece's Minister of Foreign Affiars Evangelos Venizelos and his FYROM counterpart Popovski. As revealed by various press reports, discussions centered mostly on energy matters. In fact it was reported that Popovski asked Venizelos to confirm that Greece was positively disposed to linking the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) to FYROM's gas network.

The reports said that Venizelos replied that everything he told FYROM Premier Nikola Gruevski during his visit to Skopje (in the framework of Greece's EU presidency) continues to apply and that the two countries can proceed irrespective of the outstanding dispute over the name, adding that meetings must be held between the respective energy ministers in both countries to discuss the technical details.

(Question: What did he discuss with Gruevski? And can we really trust Venizelos who we all know has never supported Greece's positions and especially those that were adopted by the Karamanlis administration.)

Later on, and prompted by Popovski's statements to the media, the Greek foreign ministry issued an announcement rejecting his suggestion that the Greek side does not see the resolution of the name issue as a priority.

(Notice how FYROM cunningly uses the so called dispute over the name to pressure Greece into what it really wants? Clearly it does not care about the name, but getting a piece of the geopolitical-pipeline pie.)

In its announcement, the Greek foreign ministry stressed that:
     "Responding to a relevant question from Mr. Poposki, Mr. Venizelos confirmed the Greek position - which he had set out during his visit to Skopje this past March, as the President of the Council of the EU - in favor of the construction of an inter connector pipeline between the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), in Greece, and FYROM. This inter connector pipeline strengthens the dynamic and importance of the TAP and offers the neighbouring country an alternative source of natural gas supply. 
(It is more than evident what FYROM's intentions are. As you can see, the issue of the name is more of a geopolitical matter rather than about a nation of desperate people who simply want a name for their country! Let us not forget that if that was the case then they would have adopted Vardar as their name, since the nation was recognized as such until Tito. This elementary rhetoric was used by some buffoons who work with war-mongers such as Soros and Kissinger and who still till this day believe that they can shift borders in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and anywhere else in the world as easily as hauling laundry up the stairs. Obviously they were surprised over the patriotism of Greeks who until today have been fighting Western imperialism in this name dispute by themselves. Luckily for us, Russia is also against this now, for her intent and reasons, but at least we have another voice that can support us on our historical rights. We all know \that FYROM has expansionist plans in our northern region because the imperialists who have been supporting the name "Macedonia" need a port to do their dirty work in the rest of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. That is why we see maps continually being drawn up by some whacked out pseudo nationalists in FYROM that include our very own region of Macedonia. Another reasons why Moscow is against this, is because these maps also include the area of Mont Athos - which we all know is dominated by Russian Orthodox monasteries.)

Read more about Soros' plans in the Balkans and Eastern Europe

George Soros, Eastern Europe, The Balkans, FYROM And The Spread of a New World Order

SOROS STRIKES AGAIN - Skopje Irredentist Claims - Says 700,000 FYROManians Living in Greece

Rothschild & Soros ' Octopus Over the Balkans - Yugoslavia had to be divided

PITIFUL - 20,000 icons of Cyprus are in the hands of smugglers

Until 1974 there were 575 churches and other Christian shrines on the territory of Cyprus which is now illegally occupied by Turks.

During the Turkish invasion and the subsequent occupation in Cyprus many churches were destroyed. Others were adapted for the use of livestock businesses: stall boxes as well as silage, building materials and technical equipment depots. Some of them were simply sacked or bulldozed (and from what we at HellasFrappe learn others were even used as toilets).

Around 80 temples were converted into mosques. 20,000 icons, dating back to the 12th-20th centuries, vessels and mosaics were stolen from 575 churches.

As a result of the strong foreign policy pressure and the interference of the UN, the situation with the icons has begun to improve over the past year. Nevertheless, ancient churches are gradually crumbling due to the lack of any restoration work since 1974 to the present time.

In order to understand what happened and is happening today in this region, the Greek website Romfea addressed the Church of Cyprus.

Bishop Porphyrius of Naples has referred Romfea to Priest Savvas Hagiionas, representative of the Synodal Committee for the Monuments on the occupied territory. According to him, about 50 churches, which are of international cultural importance, are absolutely inaccessible, as they are situated on the territory of Turkish military bases.

In collaboration with international organizations, some of relics were returned.

In February 2012, the 12th century wall paintings were returned from Houston (Texas, USA).

In October of last year, dozens of relics, for which the Church had been searching from 2004 to 2013 through various agencies, were brought from München (Germany).
     “Now we demand the return from Zurich of a 16th century icon of the Savior and an iconostasis of the same period, which belonged to the Antiphonitis Monastery (Kalogrea village),” said Fr. Savvas.
     “The Church will not cease its attempts to return the stolen relics!”


Only in Greece - Cop by day, priest by night!

In the afternoon Priest Konstantinos Spanos serves at the Church of the Dormition of All-Holy Theotokos in Ilioupolis, and in the morning, from 7 a.m. he is on his beat as a junior lieutenant at the Attica Police Central Administration, says a report in Romfea.

He explains his stand on the matter in his interview with the Democratia Greek newspaper:
     “Since early childhood, my time spent in church was the most inspiring and joyous time in my life. To help our parish priest during services was for me a special blessing of God. However, in spite of all my love for the Church, I resolved first to enter to the Greek Police service. But with the course of time I wished more and more to dedicate myself to the ministry of preaching. Thus I decided to become a priest.”
Fr. Konstantinos has also noted that his choice was approved by his colleagues and church parishioners alike:
     “Their support was particularly important for me. I am grateful to God and to Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, who put himself in my place and blessed this form of ministry. I also won approval of my confessor and, of course, my spouse”. 

Beating blindness with Omega-3 and olive oil

New research shows Omega-3 rich oils improve membrane fluidity in retina cells and can help fight age-related eye diseases

Scientists working at the Research Center on Aging at the Health and Social Services Centre — University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS) (Canada) have been studying strategies for protecting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Dysfunction of the RPE is found in retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness of elderly people in developed countries.

Findings published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology suggest that incubating retinal cells with vegetable oils induces biochemical and biophysical changes in the cell membrane, which may have a beneficial effect in preventing or slowing the development of retinopathy.
     "Membrane fluidity, which refers to the viscosity of the lipid bi-layer of a cell membrane, is a marker of the cell function," explained Prof. A. Khalil, professor at the Université de Sherbrooke and principal investigator of the study.
     "A decrease of membrane fluidity can affect the rotation and diffusion of proteins and other bio-molecules within the membrane, thereby affecting the functions of these molecules. Whereas, an increase in membrane fluidity makes for a more flexible membrane and facilitates the transmission of light through the eye."
The researchers discovered that vegetable oil fatty acids incorporate in retina cells and increase the plasma membrane fluidity. They concluded that a diet low in trans-unsaturated fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil may reduce the risk of retinopathy.

In addition, the research suggests that replacing the neutral oil used in eye drops with oil that possesses valuable biological properties for the eye could also contribute to the prevention of retina diseases.

OPINION - Is Merkel debating US/EU folly against a future with Sino-Russian revival?

According to the latest article from John Ward on the Slog there is a big debate currently taking place in Berlin. He says that the latest ISIS Islamic petropower is actually forcing Angela Merkel to move closer to Vladimir Putin (or Russia). This is not the first time Mr.Ward has said this, there have been countless articles that have been published in the press over the last few months that also follow the same argument. He says that the issues of fossil fuels, sovereign debt, radical Islam, the future of the euro, American debt, (the missing or not missing) German gold and deregulated credit is what is really driving Merkel closer to Mosocw. Is this so? No one knows, but as more and more voices across Europe wake up and realize what this geopolitical crisis is really about then it will be Italy with a dash of France that forces Berlin's moves. And we all know what that means! But never underestimate Merkel who is a geopolitical wiz. Right now she sees America declining on her one hand, while on the other she sees the dangers of radical Islam. This could be the reasons why she may pivot towards the East sooner than we think (or towards closer ties to Russia/China) because quite simply her entire career has been about jumping unexpectedly at the right moment, while screwing those who had aided her progress, as well as those who had crossed her.

John Ward (The Slog) - There exists today a geopolitical continuum in which energy, credit, fiat currency collapse, sovereign debt and banking derivative exposures blur one into another. Saudi power, ISIS fury and Western duplicity have all rendered what used to be thought wild conspiracy theories into everyday geopolitics. Something is being planned in Berlin, but what is it?

In the Berlin Chancellery today, Angela Merkel and several of her closest confidantes are trying to decide what comes next for Germany. They do so on a canvas where, writ large, are the failures of post-Gold Standard paper money, the eurozone debt crisis, the threat of Draghi’s control over the European Central Bank, the will o’ the wisp that was once 120 tonnes of German gold, a global neolib crisis, and a massive shift in the fulcrum of monied power.

It is still about the munneeee.

To give one obvious example (having devoted four articles to the question of ISIS ‘beheadings’ and all the theory options) the old Woodward/Bernstein Deep Throat command still applies: follow the money.

There seems to me no question that ISIS is bankrolled in part by the Saudis. The Saudi oil-wealth (and its relevance to the petrodollar’s survival) is equally certain. For all this gibberish about “the war on terror” there is only one massive geopolitical game in play at the minute: for the Americans to keep the Saudis sweet, and ensure they don’t one day dump the petrodollar.

I don’t have any inside track on that one, but only common sense is required to interpret the race. I doubt if the hand-chopping wife decapitators of Saudi Arabia are enjoying the current US action against ISIS. But then, I doubt if the action is any more than window-dressing.

While almost every Western news title has talked robotically about the “enormous scope” of the American attack, this is a line they’re being fed in order to give it the shock-and-awe factor. Iraq and Syria are, as Noel Coward might have said, “very very big”: the Obama action is, to be blunt, an egg timer in a desert.

As so often (if not always) it comes back to fossil energy – with the obsession of the US to retain access to it, and the Russian need to retain maximum control of its supply.

With the global slump now clearly taking shape, Moscow is far more concerned about the fall-off in oil/gas demand than it is about a Federated Ukraine. And ISIS could behead every other American as far as the US Establishment is concerned…just so long as their paymasters don’t dump the petrodollar.

The petrodollar is chiefly important in that the “system” is a currency closed-shop: even if not a single US finger ever went anywhere near the deal, if Australia wants to buy Saudi oil, it must pay in $US. This acts as America’s main collateral against which to borrow: without it, default wouldn’t be far round the next corner but one.

So then, what’s going on here?

Is ISIS a Saudi-US plot-cum-distraction?

Was ISIS formed with the specific intention of angering the US and thus causing the Saudis to retaliate against military action?

Are the Saudis bankrolling ISIS in order to evoke US retaliation, giving them an excuse to dump the Buck… thus hastening the global triumph of Islam?

Or are the beheadings a US/McCain/CIA setup designed to persuade the Saudis that the White House had no choice but to deal with the threat?

They’re not mutually exclusive, but they are all possibilities. And if you think that context alone is Cohen Brothers movie meets the Maltese Falcon, there are further dimensions: Russo-Chinese deals already avoid the Dollar, and at least three of Putin’s senior advisers are hawkish about introducing the Petroruble.


A brief aside if I may, given that context. We are talking here about two bottom-line motives behind geopolitics: fossil energy and American debt.

The dependence on the first is the direct result of US oilcos lobbying Congress to block any and all funds being applied to transport and heating research to look beyond fossil. That our reliance upon the same internal combustion engine has endured 125 years of history is anti-achievement greater than any scientific advance blocked by the medieval Church of Rome.

Reliance upon the second is the ultimate outcome of neoliberal economics, whereby growth must be maintained whatever the cost… and the medium chosen for achieving this has been instantly available and appallingly controlled credit.

The latter, of course, was what brought on 2008. And the factors that caused 2008 remain firmly in place… thanks to the lobbying of Western governments by the Bourses and Banks.

That is a sobering conclusion, is it not?

Crack the solution to fossil fuel independence – while eschewing neoliberal economics – and we would overnight solve almost every dangerous territorial and religious crisis on the planet.

But that isn’t going to happen, is it?

Well… it will eventually – but not until it’s in everyone’s interests.

It’s already in the interests of 97% of us to do that: but its the brain-in-penis 3% minority who count – not We the People.


My hunch is that the debate surrounding which way to jump is what the Berlin ‘something big brewing’ rumour-mill is all about.

Nobody should underestimate the power of Germany today: it is the biggest exporter by value in the world, period.

It’s influence over the EU is beyond paramount: it is near-dictatorial.

If it turned nasty over the German Gold that no longer exists issue, the US would face a crisis of confidence. And the AfD Party is once more gaining ground.

I think that very soon, German voters will awake from their wet dream about Würst mit Kartoffelnsalat, and spot that the MerkeSchäuble two-headed Monster lied to them during the General Election.

As I have predicted all along, it will be Italy with a dash of France that forces the awakening, not Greece.

If she doesn’t move fast, Geli the Osti Fridge Magnet will find herself saddled with the bill for the euro’s grisly demise. At which point, I suspect, Weidmann’s Bundesbank Tendency is going to roast her alive in public.

There is no other thinker on Earth with the same genius for geopolitics and ruthless career advancement as that enjoyed by Frau Doktor Merkel.

She has a declining America to the West whose actions irritate her more and more, an Islam to the south towards whom she feels a well-expressed antipathy, and a Russia to the East whom she observes forging a future with the long-term coming power, China.

Chancellor Merkel’s entire career has been about jumping unexpectedly at the right moment, while screwing both those who had aided her progress, and those who had crossed her.

Could this be what the Big Debate in Berlin is about?

It's About The Gas Dummy! - Turkish warship monitors Cyprus gas exploration

credit World Bulletin
The following article is, more or less, factual proof as to why a German-led European Union (purposely) pushed Russia out of Cyprus and then (surprisingly) raided the cash vaults. In Cyprus it was about corrupt Russian oligarchs, in Greece it was called a PSI. Hogwash! We here at HellasFrappe have said from the very start of this economic crisis, that both Greece and Cyprus' economic woes was not only about corrupt bankers, shady politicians and corporate crooks, we are convinced -and have argued about this in numerous articles- that everything we see happening in our corner of the world over the past five years is in fact motivated by solidifying Europe’s future energy independence and positioning Brussels as a future world superpower. In previous posts on HellasFrappe, we noted that Greece could become the future corridor for forwarding energy from the Mediterranean, Middle East and northern African nations. Positive indeed, but also dangerous since both Greece and Cyprus are not protected by their allies in the West. Look at what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean and why we still see displays of Turkish supremacy in the region. Is Brussels putting Greece and Cyprus in harms way by focusing only "black gold" or are some hotheads in Brussels working with other warmongers across the Atlantic in order to boost Ankara's role in the region? The only thing we can do is speculate, but as the pieces of this grand geopolitical puzzle begin to take shape we now know that NATO is nothing more than a farce (because it allows Turkey to bully its allies), and the EU cannot guarantee the safety of its member states! Our argument is confirmed in a recent report in World Bulletin which said that Turkey sent a warship to Cyprus' EEZ last week with the intent of monitoring an Italian-Korean drill ship that is probing the area for natural gas reserves.
    Turkey sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast.
    Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday.
    In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities.
    Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.
    Meanwhile, Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company president Toula Onoufriou will begin ‘very soon’.
    Speaking to CNA, Onoufriou said the ENI/KOGAS consortium has planned a series of exploratory drillings over the next 18 months.
    Previously, Onoufriou had told ITAR-TASS, that Cyprus would be able to provide Europe with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cyprus by 2022.
    The 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas found in Block 12 of the Aphrodite gas field, which was discovered by US Noble Energy company, is insufficient to fund an LNG plant.
    Onoufriou went on to tell CNA, “Through this program that has been accelerated, we expect to have sooner, more concrete results, which will allow us to have a clearer picture of the data, to take important decisions on the exploitation and the future of this industry in our country.”
    Greek Cypriot Minister of Energy Giorgos Lakkotrypis wrote on his personal twitter account that the first results of the drilling are expected to come within 80 days, reiterating Onoufriou’s estimate.
    In addition to Block 9, the ENI/KOGAS consortium has also been granted the right to drill four to six wells in Block 2 and Block 3 of the Cyprus EEZ.
    France’s Total and US energy giant Noble have also been given rights to other blocks.
Full article: Turkish warship monitors Cyprus gas exploration (World Bulletin)

September 29, 2014

Samaras: Greece won't need more bailouts

"Freedom means to be upright and strong," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Saturday, addressing an event for the 40th anniversary since the founding of the conservative New Democracy party. Explaining the government's policy choices, ND's president said the country was emerging from its six-year recession in the third quarter of 2014, would not need a new bailout and that the government was now delivering on its promise to end the economic crisis.
      "We were never the ones who said: 'There is money'," he underlined to a packed audience in an Athos Palace Hotel banquet hall in Kallithea, Halkidiki. "We in New Democracy are proud of what we did 40 years ago and we continue to be proud. We have strong roots, we are firmly grounded in the present and ready to make the leap to the future."
The choice of venue was symbolic, since it was in the same banquet hall that ND's founder Constantine Karamanlis had held the party's first pre-congress in April 1977 and then its first congress in May 1979.

The prime minister also attacked main opposition SYRIZA, saying it would "never become a government because it did not even manage to become an opposition," and that SYRIZA will continue to lose voters now that things were improving since the attitude 'there is money' was more frightening to voters.
     "They are playing with things that are well over their heads," he added, accusing SYRIZA of "incurable populism".
He stressed that the country will not need any more bailouts or memorandums, nor will it need the money from the current loan tranches that remain in the next year, while he also announced that measures to relieve the heavy tax burden were imminent.
     "The worst is over," he said in response to questions, "and better times are coming." Whereas, a few months ago, the discussion was focused on whether new austerity measures would be necessary, now the main issue was the tax relief that was coming, he pointed out.
     "A year ago, we were talking about how much higher unemployment would go. Now unemployment is starting to steadily decrease! A short while ago the debate was about how much longer the recession will last. Whereas now that the recovery is beginning, we are concerned about how fast the growth will be in coming years," he said.
The prime minister analysed ND's role in dealing with the crisis, stressing that the party may have made some mistakes over its history, failing to resist those things that led Greece to the crisis in the first place, but had not stooped to the populism that lay behind it and shown great responsibility, not hesitating to support the country during difficult times.

Referring to ND's initial opposition to the bailout memorandums while main opposition, he pointed out that the party had nevertheless supported most crucial measures to cut wasteful spending and for structural changes that should have been made years earlier, before the crisis was reached. "For this we are proud," he underlined.

He also pointed out that ND was later vindicated in opposing the terms of the first memorandums, since both the policy mix and multipliers of the programme were proved wrong, but had not opted to "rest on its laurels" at the country's expense:
     "At the crucial moment, I preferred to change its course, to change its fate insteady of basking in the 'glory' of my country's destruction. Many warned me that I'd been given a hand grenade that could go off in my hands. I knew it! But I held on and I defused that grenade. I did not let it go off. Someone had to do it and it was us. This is the legacy of New Democracy."
For these reasons, he added, the party stayed upright when everything around it was tottering, acting as the main pillar of stability for the present, the main force that would bring the country out of the crisis and the main force that would bring the future of growth, competitiveness and an open economy.

He attacked SYRIZA, by contrast, as a "ghost from the past" and as "sirens of populism":
     "They pretend they want to change the whole world but do not themselves want to change even the slightest thing that is wrong with Greece. They want the world to change but for Greece to make do with yesterday," he said.
The government, Samaras stressed was committed to leading Greece out of the memorandum as soon as possible, something that was happening now, and committed to carrying out and continuing to carry out reforms to make Greece a modern, European country.

Part of this effort he added, was a new Constitution that would allow the country to make faster and more decisive progress in reforms and bring growth and prosperity to all, announcing that this effort will begin in the coming months.
     "This development for the Constitution will be the issue that will dominate 2015," he said.
     "This is what freedom means: to keep a country upright, to strengthen it, to put it in international markets, to overcome its inflexibilities, upgrade its role in energy issues and geopolitically and everywhere. To overcome the crisis as quickly as possible," the prime minister stressed, adding that this was all happening as others were trying to once again mire the country in the deficits that had cast it down and humiliated it.
Among others, Samaras attacked the main opposition for 'mixed messages' concerning Greece's position in EuroAtlantic institutions, especially in light of the volatile situation in the Middle East when many countries were lining up to join the EU and align themselves with the West.
     "At this time, to undermine the country's European position is therefore dangerous. To undermine the country's position in NATO is surely disastrous," he stressed.
Emphasing that support of national issues and religious symbols have always been core values of his party, Samaras also referred to the main opposition's 'silence' regarding the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, who were being driven from their homes in great numbers.

He wrapped up his speech by referring to the party's role in historic milestones of Greece's course, from its founding by Constantine Karamanlis and its entry into Europe right to the present day, as well as its warnings against the populism and policies that Greece had paid for so dearly.

Stressing that the party will continue to be the dominant political force in Greece, he urged the party's supporters and "all those that want to see Greece better and stronger," to join in the party's struggle.

The event was attended by former premier Costas Karamanlis, the nephew of the party's founder, several ministers, MPs and high-ranking members of the party. Speeches will also be made by Petros Molyviatis, Ioannis Varvitsiotis, Parliament President Vangelis Meimarakis, Vassilis Mihaloliakos and ND Political Committee Secretary Andreas Papamimikos.


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