March 6, 2018

HellasFrappe is Back And in Full Operation!!!

It has been a a long time since I last posted an article on hellasfrappe, but I am back and excited to begin posting again.
As Editor of HellasFrappe I want to thank all of you for trusting this blog all these years and for allowing me to continue the dream that Mike and I had when we first designed it and published our first article. Since his passing in 2014, I was not successful in maintaining the dream, but have regrouped and reorganized things, so that I can once again provide all of you with free and interesting news and information. The only thing I ask, is that you consider making a donation to the blog. These funds are crucial for the blog's maintenance and development.
Soon hellasfrappe will gain a new name, go live on YouTube, and I am also looking into Patreon. There you can become a member and every week I will post various podcasts where I plan to analyze my thoughts and feelings on various matters of interest to all of us. Patreon allows artists to gain an audience who in return donates a small amount to view or listen to these podcasts. This will allow me to easily maintain this blog, as well as interview various personalities, as well as host many of the fans that still support this blog.
If you want to make a donation now, then that is welcome as well. In fact I encourage it. Remember, any amount large or small will contribute to supporting our mission which is to seek the truth on all fronts. We need your support.
I will make an announcement in the weeks to come about the new blog. 
Until then...
Much love to all,
Marina Spanos

November 4, 2015

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SPECIAL REPORT - There are reasons why Filis says the GENOCIDE of Greek Pontians never took place

By Marina Spanos
Editor in Chief HellasFrappe 

Famed philosopher George Santayana once said that "those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Over the last one hundred years our world witnessed the Holocaust, countless wars and the genocide of millions of people. All these events noted above occurred in a short period proving that remembrance alone is not the issue, the aim is to stare at the root causes that led to these mass atrocities and raise awareness about them so that they will not be repeated.

As of today, the Greek Minister of Education Nikos Filis can be considered a persona non grata. During an interview on STAR channel late on Monday night, Filis refuted the occurrence of the GENOCIDE of the Greeks from Pontus which we all know involved the slaughtering of well over 350,000 thousand innocent men, women and children. He instead said that the butchering of the Greeks in the Black Sea region by brutal Ottoman Turks was simply a case of ethnic cleansing rather than genocide.
     "I said that as a historian, considering the positions of many historians and international relations experts. We made a distinction between bloody ethnic cleansing and genocide as a phenomenon. This does not mean that we do not recognize the blood, pain and everything that Pontic people have suffered due to the cruelty of Turks. But genocide, as a strictly scientific term, is something different," said Filis.
During the interview he noted that this was his personal opinion, because, as he so eloquently noted, he did not want to impose his personal opinion as a state policy. What a laugh. He thinks we are totally oblivious to history, as well as his party’s sins on this subject (which will be disclosed further below).

His opinion was obviously not received well, and many people took offense to his words and for good reason. So why is all of Greece so angry at him today? For one, his comments are aligned to those of the Turkish government which does not recognize any genocides (Greek, Armenian and Assyrian). Most importantly it is against Greek national interests.

What is worse is that there are already some reports circulating on the web today saying that he even did Ankara a diplomatic favor by saying this.

(If this fact alone does not ignite a nerve in you, then I really do not know what would. Personally I viewed it as a direct provocation and my nerves skyrocketed.)

In my opinion he repeats the views which have already been expressed by other neocon Greeks such as Maria Repoussi (former MP for DIMAR). Some may recall that a couple of years ago she attempted to make us believe that the massacre of Greeks in Asia Minor, or Smyrna, was nothing more than a gathering at a Turkish port. This scandalous view was even documented in school text books. Thankfully the textbooks stopped being circulated but her views and attempts to push her interpretations of history as truths never did. Not only did she provoke our sentiment in the past when she walked out of the Greek parliament when they held a moment of silence over the Greeks who perished in these genocides, but she has also proposed that Greeks forget about other historical events too!

An anti-Hellene by nature, Mrs. Repousi believes that Greeks should ignore commemorating the exodus of Missolonghi, they should also stop celebrating the Battle of Spetses (with the blowing up the Armata), totally ignore the events at Kougi and she also  believes that we should stop hailing the Revolutionary Flag of Agia Lavra when we commemorate Independence Day on March 25th.  This progressive neocon thinker, and pro-Turkey voice, says that all these commemorations and celebrations are "banal" and "nationalistically cheap", and adds that they provide nothing to our national expression as Greeks. (Read relevant story by clicking HERE)

Filis, just like Repoussi, forget that they both serve (served) the Greek Parliament of which has officially recognized this historical event as a GENOCIDE and  designated May 19 as an annual day of remembrance. Specifically, the decree was published in the Greek Government Gazette on March 8, 1994 and affirmed the genocide in the Pontus region of Asia Minor. A second decree followed affirming the genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor as a whole and designated September 14th as a day of commemoration. Both these laws were signed by the President of the Republic, however, they were not immediately ratified because of political interventions from (SURPRISE SURPRISE) SYRIZA's very own Avgi newspaper. (source Wikipedia )

Don't take my word for it, check out the information for yourself on Wikipedia: It notes that the SYRIZA Leftist newspaper "Avgi" had the initiative for freezing the application of this law. At the time, the subject became the center of a political debate between various Greek politicians, with the left being against it. The president of the left-ecologists coalition Synaspismos party Nikos Konstantopoulos and A. Elefantis, known for his books on the history of Greek communism, were some of the politicians who expressed their opposition to the decree. It should be noted that SYRIZA's previous title was Synaspismos.

Thankfully, not all Lefitsts agreed with their rhetoric. The non-parliamentary left-wing nationalist intellectual and author George Karabelias bitterly criticized Elefantis and others who opposed the recognition of genocide and called them "revisionist historians". He even accused the Greek main-stream left of a "distorted ideological evolution". He said that for the Greek left May 19 is a "day of amnesia". On its part, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has over the last decade adopted the term "Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus" in its official newspaper Rizospastis and since then it even participates in memorial events.

Therefore there is no room for excuses about so called "opinions" because we now know the stance that the SYRIZA party has had in the past on this very subject.

In any case, Filis and all of the SYRIZA party, have pledged an oath to respect the decisions of the Greek parliament. He should keep in mind that when he speaks he is not representing himself, his party's distorted ideological views, or the people who only voted for him, but he is instead representing the government of all of the Greek people (Pontian Greeks included).

As such, I decided that this would be another teachable moment, both for Repoussi and Filis, as well as all those who live in a make believe world that wants us to paint visions of sugar plums and rainbows when we refer to Turkey and its past crimes.

credit Wikipedia
     "According to various sources the Greek death toll in the Pontus region of Anatolia ranges from 300,000 to 360,000. Estimates for the death toll of Anatolian Greeks as a whole are significantly higher, a team of American researchers found in the early postwar period that the total number of Greeks killed may approach 900,000 people. Political scientist Adam Jones also suggests the figure of 750,000 casualties. Scholar Rudolph Rummel compiled various figures from several studies to estimate lower and higher bounds for the death toll between 1914 and 1923. His estimates ranged from 289,000 to 459,000 deaths in the Greek genocide throughout this period. According to the figures by the Greek government together with the Patriarchate, a total of one million people were estimated to be massacred. Source Wikipedia


According to Wikipedia, in December 2007 the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) passed a resolution (with an "overwhelming" majority) affirming that the 1914–23 campaign against Greeks who lived in the Black Sea region constituted GENOCIDE. Employing the term "Greek Genocide", it affirmed that this population of Greeks were subject to GENOCIDE alongside other groups, namely Armenians and Assyrians. The resolution was adopted on December 1, 2007 and the press release issued by the organization on December 16.

Greek communities began inhabiting Anatolia (Greek for “east”), otherwise referred to as the Asia Minor, since the 12th century BCE. Wikipedia notes that the Turks migrated into Anatolia over the first millennium CE and by the 14th century had established the Ottoman Empire.
     "The Pontic people lived in Turkey for well over 3000 years and are descendants of Greek colonists who arrived there long before the ancestors of present day Turks. The Turks, under the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, pursued a deliberate policy of "Turkey for the Turks." It was adopted against the backdrop of the Greek occupation of parts of Asia Minor as spelled out in the Treaty of Versailles. Its purpose was to rid Turkey of its Greek, Armenian and Assyrian Christians. The resulting Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1922 and the defeat of the Greek Army sounded the death knell for Christian minorities in Turkey. The process began with Christian owned businesses being boycotted, leading to bankruptcies and confiscation of property.  Eventually intellectuals and community leaders were rounded up and executed."

Surprisingly Wikipedia also notes the methods that were used in the massacres.
      "One of the methods used in the elimination of the Greek population was the "labor battalions. Young people were captured and forced to do exhausting slave labor by the Turkish State, in order to reconstruct areas destroyed during the war. Some were sent to concentration camps and amongst the survivors was the well known writer, Elias Venezis, who later described his experiences in his book 'Number 31328.' Thousands died of exhaustion, starvation and dehydration on forced marches. This effective method was used by the Turks  to force the weaker population, including women and children, to walk for hundreds of kilometers until they died. This was known as the 'Light Death.'
If you think that these events were not recorded then think again. They were documented by American, as well as the German and Austrian diplomats of the time.
       "Unlike Germany which has taken responsibility for its sins committed in World War II, Turkey still refuses to even admit that these events occurred, let alone apologize for the genocide and ethnic cleansing it inflicted on a helpless population. Not only were the people expunged from Turkey, so too were any traces of their existence. Admitting guilt would entail casting a shadow on Kemal Ataturk. The present Turkish government has gone to extraordinary lengths to quash any attempt to publicize these events throughout the world, including keeping their own people ignorant of their history. To do so would require a reexamination of the very foundation on which the modern Turkish State is built." (Source - The Pontic Greek Genocide)"


Today some attempt to rewrite history. Usually this is done by those with a political agenda in a winner take all approach (example George Soros). All they are basically doing is picking up where the perpetrators of a GENOCIDE left off. We can actually see this happening in the mainstream media, through the rhetoric from various neocon scholars, historians and deep thinkers. Not only are all these people in service of the Turkish government, which on its part continues to dehumanize, demonize, and destroy, by putting the "right spin" on all the events that haunt it, they are also distorting history and passing off their interpretations of history as facts.

No matter how much they try they cannot rewrite history itself, however their goal is more sinister. By repeating their lies and propaganda over and over again they hope that their views will eventually be adopted by the masses as the only truth. A fine example of this is FYROM. George Soros worked his magic in this former Yugoslav state and today all those under the age of 20, or since the destabilization of Yugoslavia, actually believe that they are direct descendants of Alexander the Great.

Everyone with half a brain knows that the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides, were perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. Even the Kurds, who were once active participants and abetted this genocide with the Ottomans (mostly against Assyrians), have today admitted this fact and now condemn this time in history. Unfortunately they, as well as other Muslim groups in the East, now find themselves in a reversal of roles and have become the target of draconian Turkish policies that are designed to suppress their identity and language. Let us not forget that this is exactly what was done to all of the Greeks who miraculously remained in some parts of Turkey.

For Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, the genocide has not ended, and it cannot end so long as Turkey denies that it ever occurred. This is why Ankara has spent billions on influencing Western diplomats and officials to look the other way, or basically keep silent on this matter.

Has it worked?

Yes it has!

The West, (with the exception of Australia, Cyprus and very few other countries), has surrendered to this decades old denial of the Turkish government deciding that it is more important to placate the neo-Ottomans than to be truthful about history. It is no secret that they have adopted this policy on account of economic, military and geopolitical reasons. Let us not forget that the US has a huge airbase in Turkey that they need for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. From what we read Turks have threatened to close that base, cancel purchases of American military equipment, boycott American goods and even pass their own resolution condemning 19th century US government massacres of Native Americans (if the US ever did recognize any of these GENOCIDES.

Unfortunately there are other more controversial reasons as well.

A couple of years ago, Turkey was awash in dramatic disclosures connecting officials there to the right-wing Grey Wolves, the terrorist band which has preyed on the region for years. In 1981, a terrorist from the Grey Wolves had even attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.
Did Turkey allow the mafia and right-wing extremists to operate death squads and to smuggle drugs with impunity? This I cannot answer dear Frappers, but reports at the time (check link below) claim that the rupture of such state secrets also released clues to other major Cold War mysteries.
     "Besides the attempted papal assassination, the Turkish disclosures could shed light on the collapse of the Vatican bank in 1982 and the operation of a clandestine pipeline that pumped sophisticated military hardware into the Middle East — apparently from NATO stockpiles in Europe — in exchange for heroin sold by the Mafia in the United States." (source )
Do you think that operations such as those noted above died with the fall of the Soviet Union? Apparently they didn't; Operation Gladio B is the continuation of the old NATO Gladio program and geopolitical analysts claim that it covers a tangled web of covert operatives, billionaire Imams, drug running, prison breaks and terror strikes. The same officials believe that the ultimate goal is the destabilization of Central Asia and the Caucasus. You can probably find out more about this subject by just googling Gladio B on the web.

(Also, search and see how this coincides with what is happening in Syria with all the foreign rebels operating there. You will be surprised to learn that history is once again repeating itself.)

I personally am clueless on such operations, because I cannot tolerate any type of violence, but the little that I have read notes that Turkey is once again using such operations to continue its barbarism and genocidal acts in Syria. One recent article that was posted on the web and supports my argument is an interview by Taleb Ibrahim (check link in this paragraph). According to him Turkey's T.Erdogan is displacing people in Syria. Does the tactic sound familiar to the events endured by the Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians one hundred years ago? It is! He says that the so called rebels, (who we all know now are foreigners that are paid by countries such as Qatar, S.Arabia and Turkey to destabilize this country) are "cleansing" many areas in Syria while Turkey is shipping thousands of Islamist Turks from other Turkish lands there to settle, take over entire villages and eventually bring down the Syrian government of Bashir Assad. In a few words, he reveals how Erdogan is pushing Syrians out of Syria and changing the demographics of this country from Arabs to Islamist Turks (by using ISIS to perform GENOCIDE). Why is he doing this? Aside from his dreams of reviving a new Ottoman empire he is also acting on behalf of many interests that cannot perform these acts because they are acts of war! Even wars have rules and ethnic cleansing, or in this case GENOCIDE, cannot be committed and is considered as a war crime. (View VIDEO by clicking HERE).


How can such psychological wounds be healed if a crime is never acknowledged by the perpetrator? To survive ordeals such as a genocide, or to lose your loved ones to such senseless violence, has an undeniable effect on the shaping of one’s character, personality, and general life experiences. Genocide is a grave matter and exemplifies the absolute worst in, or shows its perpetrators to be devoid of, humanity. If Greek government officials are permitted to dismiss these acts, then genocide is trivialized, and a vicious cycle ensues. So now do you understand why we decided to slam the statements by Mr. Filis?

Friends, the plight of the Greeks of Pontus, just like the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1922, are events that shaped modern Greek History and that speak to the hearts of all Greeks. The only thing that Pontians want is that the world will come to know of their tragic fate. Those who deny these events, as Filis and Repoussi have done, only help countries such as Turkey to repeat such atrocities again (example Syria).

As with the Armenian Genocide, Filis and Repoussi and all Greek neocons opposing the recognition of the Greek Genocide of Asia Minor, attempt to shift focus away from the unfathomable reality of the historical event by portraying the issue as one of nationalism and ethnic conflict rather than of healing and remembrance.

I think prominent U.S. scholar and author of “Black Dog of Fate” Professor Peter Balakian said it best when he stated:
     "the driving force behind the renewed awareness of Turkey’s Greek holocaust transcends nationality and ideology: this is not about ethnic conflict, Greek vs. Turk or Armenian vs. Turk, this is about universal moral issues and universal human rights issues... Clearly, denying genocide paves the way for future genocide, for it suggests to the world that governments can commit mass murder with impunity.”

My personal feelings about Alexis Tsipras’ government are irrelevant at this point because the facts speak volumes. No government official has a right to express his or her “opinion" on historical facts which have shaped borders and are still considered as fresh wounds by the Greek people. When they make statements –whatever these statements may be- they are speaking as an entity, or a government. If they want to express their personal views then they should get out of office and write a book. To deny historical facts is not only an attack on the morale of the Pontians, who till this day live with this bloody memory, but it is an affront to the dignity of all the victims, both living and dead.

Thankfully I am not alone with these views, many ministers from all parties criticised Filis’ statements as did a score of people from all walks of life on the social networks. The main opposition New Democracy party even organized a petition demanding his removal from office as did Pontian Greek associations.

The Greek Left, especially SYRIZA, now has a chance to rehabilitate its past and correct the mistakes that it once made on this issue by unequivocally recognizing that what befell on the Greek populations in Turkey was GENOCIDE as defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention on The Prevention and Punishment of The Crime of Genocide. If the government wants to save face then it must immediately scream out the word GENOCIDE, force Filis to apologize to the Pontian people, and then ask him to resign.

I will repeat it once again, refusing to say the word GENOCIDE because it will sour Turkey is just another form of aggression and simply allows Ankara to continue with the process of genocide. Most importantly, it prevents the healing of wounds that were inflicted by the GENOCIDE on our people, kills the dignity of the remaining survivors and destroys the remembrance of this tragic crime.

A couple of days ago I announced that I would not be posting any articles on HellasFrappe because the blog has not received any donations to maintain itself. Following the latest comments by Filis, I decided to wave this decision and write a special report to voice my opinion on his statements because -as always- when something tugs at my heart, heats up my nerves and provokes my logic I react immediately. As I was researching the material used in this article I came across this video which was posted by a Greek analyst who is an expert on Turkish affairs and then re-posted on facebook by a Frapper. It features a famed Turkish performer singing about the plight of the Pontian people. This should put some neocon Greeks to shame since they regrettably want us to forget, while some Turks, who know the truth, have the courage to even sing it out loud. (Please listen to the words).


September 26, 2015

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SPECIAL REPORT - Why Greece needs Costas Karamanlis to rise to the occasion once more!

We kick off a new news year at a time when PASOK, which now calls itself SYRIZA, begins governing Greece for the seventh time, while the refugee crisis is at its height and austerity has without a doubt impoverished one third of the Greek population. In all this chaos, there is no opposition because the conservatives -who lost to the SYRIZA party on September 20th- are seeking to settle scores. Why should we care? Well, the developments in ND do not just affect the party voters and officers, but all of political life as we know it because the role of the main opposition is crucial for democracy, since it monitors the government. Without a doubt, Greece faces some daunting challenges in the months to come, which will require all of our attention and support, and in all this uncertainty there is one thing missing, someone to give this nation some hope. A natural born leader.

Marina Spanos

Some may be scratching their heads especially after Alexis Tsipras' grand win -for the second time- a couple of days ago, but we all know that he is not a natural born leader. The reasons are clear. Groups like SYRIZA employ radical-sounding or Marxist phraseology, and only do so to cover for right-wing policies and a defense of the capitalist system. In other words, he is nothing more than a pseudo version of the late Andreas Papandreou and the PASOK party. Tsipras shot to fame when the SYRIZA party, which in all reality was nothing more than a desperate alliance of leftist factions, finished second to the conservative party in the elections in 2012 at the height of the Greek crisis. This was a time when there was great fear that Greece's economy would crash out of the euro and Tsipras rose to fame because he lied to voters by telling them that he would tear up the country’s “barbarous” bailout agreement and impose a harsh “wealth” tax to fund the budget. Today he is taxing the poor as much as the wealthy and has not only signed a third bailout agreement, but his win has also strengthened all of the old PASOK forces (unions, etc.)

Only those who are blind (or have clear interests) refuse to see that his words were nothing but cr**p. Unfortunately the people of this country were fooled once again. 

(After all how else would PASOK continue to rule this country e?)

HellasFrappe had predicted -and warned all of you of this- this months ago, when it discovered Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis' fondness for Alexis. We had presented her ties to George Papandreou and questioned her sudden support for Alexis. We have also presented Tsipras affiliation with the Brookings Institute -a think tank that had also become second home for good old GAP-. We all know that this institute is mostly funded by the Soros foundation so it was no surprise to us that Gianna got Alexis a prime seat at an event in New York on Sunday which is hosted by none other than the Clintons. The discussion, claim reports, is going to focus on boosting growth in Greece and southeastern Europe and will take place in the context of the annual conference of the Clinton Global Initiative, a venture of former US president Bill Clinton. Think about it. A self-proclaimed Marxist in the heart of global investment. It sounds like a joke!

So how can we rid ourselves of all these pseudo leaders and allow real statesmen to govern this country?  Well we need to once again become inspired as a society but in order to do so a natural born leader must rise that will prevail over partisan and personal agendas. He must be someone who will fully embrace the power of the head of this country and be the visionary that we all need.

After all, Tsipras was so terrible in his first round of government that today he is not running the country. Don't take my word for it, even the Guardian stated this several days ago. The British newspaper released an article where it mentions that the person who will be responsible for the governance of Greece is expected to be Maarten Verwey, a senior civil servant at the Dutch finance ministry who joined the commission in 2011 and led its Cyprus assistance program. His powers are unprecedented, Guardian says, adding that if Greek people have heard about his name, then they know that their vote will made a very small difference on September 20th to what happens next. Why is this happening? It is simple, Europe is prepared to keep Greece’s new leader in line so as to implement the reforms agreed.

Back to our dilemma, and beyond the given responsibilities of politicians and parties, Greece really needs to be governed with stability, consequence and coordination.  Is it Vangelis Meimarakis? Well, Meimarakis was good as a leader for the conservatives, but he is not a visionary and therefore cannot lead the nation he does not have leadership potential. 

(There is a fine line between leading a party, and leading a nation)

I personally bow my hat to him in unifying the ND party because at the start of the electoral campaign everyone thought he was the clear loser, however, as the polls closed he threatened to topple the mighty Tsipras from his throne. He also was successful in bringing something else to the forefront. Meimarakis proved that the center-right party is deeply rooted in society and is the only political force that has the ability to reform, in spite of its unfortunate feudal composition.

Some slam the conservatives for the decisions they made, but you have to give credit to ND for not falling apart like PASOK did (which today presents itself as SYRIZA, To Potami, Elia, and even PASOK). On the contrary, the conservatives found the strength to stand and convince all concerned that they are the only guarantors of Greece’s European course.


The answer is simple: Costas Karamanlis!

Why is Costas Karamanlis such a commodity, and how did this statesman keep ND together? Frappers, the answer is obvious, he has the ability to unite and not to divide, that is why.

But in order to get a better understanding of this exceptionalism, I decided to publish some excerpts from the first article that was published on this blog which more or less explains why there are scores of us who want him to rise again from the ashes and take hold of the conservative party and the nation.

Greece needs a natural-born leader, which is something that we do not have. As popular as Tsipras is for a minority of people he is not a visionary.

(Minority meaning that there was a 40percent absent vote at the recent national elections).

Leadership requires a climate of trust where people give you their wholehearted commitment and that is why this writer is, and will always be, committed to Karamanlis' vision.

Let me explain: There is an old school of thought that says the course of human history is charted by “great men:” Heads of church and state, generals and business magnates whose individual qualities of vision, courage, and charisma are so powerful that they shape the fate of nations and economies. Costas Karamanlis, former Greek prime minister (2004-2009) was one such leader.  His family is one of the two most powerful political dynasties in the country and his uncle, Constantine Karamanlis, is a towering figure of Modern Greek history. Constantine was prime minister from 1955 to 1963 and 1974 to 1980. Between the late 60s and early 1970s, he went into self-imposed exile in Paris after a military junta took power in Greece. He returned amid high drama to restore Greek democracy and established the New Democracy Party as a moderate umbrella organisation of right-of-centre groups.

While his uncle, a schoolmaster's son, was known to have an austere personality, Costas Karamanlis was depicted as a more easy-going, charismatic, affable figure, with a love of soccer.Educated in the US and Athens, Costas Karamanlis rose through the party ranks from his student days in the 1980s and emerged as the last-minute surprise winner during a leadership challenge following the conservative right-wing New Democracy party's 1996 election defeat and became Greece’s youngest political leader in history.

When he first rose to power some analysts criticized the move, but in the years as party leader, Costas Karamanlis secured a grip on his notoriously undisciplined party and provided the Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis’ socialist party (that was in power at the time) with some of the toughest opposition they faced since the 1980s. Voters were immediately captivated by his clear sense of purpose, for he brought hope a renewed commitment, work ethics and impeccable VALUES back into to the political scene.

Aided by the unpopularity of the incumbent PASOK government led by Costas Simitis (a party that had been in power between 1981—1989 and from 1993—2004) and with charismatic Karamanlis at the wheel, the New Democracy party defeated the PASOK Socialists in the spring of 2004 just before the Olympic Games. He was re-elected in office in 2007. In 2009, and after losing to the socialists, he announced his resignation from the head of the conservative party. He was succeeded by Antonis Samaras. After he left office, many in Greece continued to blame him and the New Democracy party for economic difficulties, and till this day he continues to take blows from his opponents.

Why would so many turn their backs on such a great visionary you ask? Simple he was too great of a leader for a country so deeply rooted in corruption, that the very thought of an honest man was too good to be true... that is why.

I am deeply convinced that Karamanlis is a man that leads by example and that is what his opponents eventually used against him to weaken his popularity with us the people.Honesty and integrity were and still are the vital ingredients that signal him out from all other leaders before and after him, with an exception of course of his late uncle who was also a great leader.

Karamanlis had courage, let us not forget the veto his government imposed on FYROM’s (Skopje) accession to NATO. His stance on the Cyprus issue and his support of Papadopoulos' decision can only be characterized as patriotic.

His only sin was that he wanted to place Greece on the energy map, by allowing several pipelines to run through our boarders. These pipelines, as we all know, did not fit the purposes and/or interests of many western nations and by upsetting the scene he unwillingly created enemies for himself. He also expanded Greece's relations with Russia and this -as we all know today- upset the some of our allies so much that they even attempted to assassinate him.

Some claim that he looked for a reason to escape, leaving us to our fate. These same people forget that they tilted their support to George Papandreou and the Memorandums instead of listening to Karamanlis warnings in 2009. He was not intimidated by what our allies thought, and most importantly he never once thought of holding on to power, he only worked for the people.

In the course of history such personalities -or visionaries- are not well liked in the political fora. Take John F. Kennedy for example. He went against the system and became a victim by it. Karamanlis is one more such case.Successful or not in his government, liked, or not liked by his supporters and foes, no one can deny that he is the only most effective and profound leader that this country has today.

The reason we know this is because we know he was committed to worthwhile results and governed himself and the people of this country with those results in mind. It was this orientation that pushed him to be creative in solving problems, to subordinate their lesser motives and to persist in the face of obstacles and it was this commitment that eventually led to his downfall.

Till this day, his opponents still fear him, and have the audacity to criticise his decisions while in government. Even though evidence has surfaced that prove all of this to be untrue, they still attempt to discredit him. Some may ask, why so much criticism? The answer is simple dear Frappers: When he speaks he has greater public approval than that of almost all his predecessors and successors and that generates fear in his opponents who thirst for political power.

In fact he still has an almost worshipful attitude by many Greeks and this magic has largely to do with public desire for a heroic, inspiring leaders such as himself.

On a personal level, I admired him most for his sense of humour and his ability to speak directly to an audience. Karamanlis’ charisma and charm motivated many Greek people, such as me, who never had a sense of Greek politics, to be the best they could be for their country, and I personally thank him for this.

He has kept silent since his resignation as party leader, and I guess in some way it has given ammunition to his opponents to hit him even harder. Those who never stopped believing in him -or the Karamanlikoi supporters- know by instinct that this silence is his weapon to expose all his opponents, and in some way -the system-, that so unfairly hit at him for the past decade.

I also believe that in his last speech, just before the 2009 general elections, he indirectly warned us of the things to come... as well as left it to be understood that when push comes to shove that he will rise to the occasion again.

With so much chaos and uncertainty ailing our country, has that day arrived? This I cannot answer, but the only thing I can say is that Greece needs and thirsts for leaders such as himself. We need someone with a deep understanding of the country's problems, who has managed state affairs at the highest level and is in a position to converse abroad and to demand the respect of political leaders. Based on all of the above, only Costas Karamanlis can fit this role. Tsipras cannot. He has lost the respect of the international community. It is time to stop settling for less in this country because there is no room for mediocrities and indifferent non-political figures.

We need a man with a vision that works to resolve and heal the wounds of this obviously divided nation. (We saw this manifest at the recent referendum, slamming those who believed that the civil had ended in Greece.) A leader that honestly loves Greece and most importantly has the ability to give us the people some hope again.

Only Karamanlis can fill this role. It is his destiny.

So in the upcoming leadership convention, the conservatives, who have contributed greatly towards stabilizing democracy in this country, need to think long and hard and turn their backs on those seeking their five minutes of fame.

That is why I firmly believe that there can only be one visionary and this natural born leader's name is  Costas Karamanlis, everyone else is a pseudo version of Tsipras.

August 20, 2015

Tribute to Mike - Two year memorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marina Spanos

July 28, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OMFIF forum on July 16th

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

Here is the recording

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

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

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

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

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

HellasFappe's take on things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 22, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 17, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original story

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

Reference - SKAI, Newsit

July 15, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


July 14, 2015

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

credit kourdistoportocali
For UPDATE please check end of present article

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here is where it gets juicy.

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

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

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


UPDATE - George Soros, Jeff Sachs, Tsipras and Varoufakis


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

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

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

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

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