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Dear Alexis: We've lost our country!

As SYRIZA establishes “space agencies” and touts its investigation into the “Novartis scandal,” Greece’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are endangered. An open letter to Alexis Tsipras.

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Dear “patriot” Alexis,
“If today there is something our homeland needs from all of us, from every last Greek, it is a modern, decisive, unshakable patriotism.”
You uttered these words a few days ago. Of course, quotations can’t be added to verbal speech, otherwise I am sure you would have added them to those last three words.
I have been impressed by your “determination” for three years now, like for instance when you so eloquently said in just four words “go back Mrs. Merkel”! I have been impressed by how “tenacious” you are (but only when you have the Greek people in opposition to you). I have been impressed by how “patriotic” you have been when you make reference to an “all-purpose name for Macedonia,” as if you are referring to flour.
This is no accident of course, when considering that the head of strategic planning in the prime minister’s office is a man who has said “[having a] career is like cholera.” I do not know if this is the same person who authored the despicable press release which was signed, “Basement tenants.” In case you weren’t aware, such press releases result in the ridicule of our country and its image internationally.
How much respect can someone have for a neighboring country whose prime minister is self-trolled through the press releases issued by his own office? Of course, one can say that this is the least of your problems. The “feats” of our country — the embarrassments, that is — have become known outside our borders. A colleague of mine at the office where I work in Germany was telling me that he would like to visit “Exarsia” as a tourist, because he has heard that it is a “must” to go there. He was telling me that he heard that if someone gets into a car accident in Exarchia Square and calls the police, they will be told to take the car, go further down, and to call back once again. Entire regions of Athens are “no-go” zones, while at night police stations are transformed into fortresses and the surrounding streets are closed off, in order to protect the officers themselves.
 
You know Alexis, it really is not a good look for you when your own party’s newspaper publishes the headline “The Right Against the Western World” on the same day that the Novartis prosecutions began. An article which chastises the right for “favoring Russian policy” (!!) does not prepare us for good things to come, but instead, it lays the groundwork to impress the leader of the United States, the same leader for whom you once said “I hope we will not face this evil.” The current president of the United States who has not launched invaded or declared war against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, unlike his Nobel Prize-winning predecessor.
I do not know if you heard the news, Alexis, but we are losing our country, while you are attempting to imprison half of the opposition parties for scandals and while you are trying to recreate the achievements of Antonis Samaras in the case of Golden Dawn and the achievements of Constantine Mitsotakis against PASOK in 1989, both of which occurred with your party’s assistance.
For a month, Turkish vessels have closed off an area around the islet of Imia, not allowing a single Greek boat to enter the area. This served as the prelude for the attack on a Greek coast guard vessel which followed. As things stand right now, this incident does not signify the end but rather the beginning of further great travails for Greece, and there is no better time than now for our country’s enemies. We concede islands, relinquish names, abandon maritime waters, while the fire sale of our public assets is nearly complete. Our public wealth is in foreign hands, while our private wealth in the hands of the banks to later be auctioned off. Just as our wealth has shrunk, so has the time for our territory and sovereignty to shrink as well.
A country that does not have enough money to pay to upgrade or to maintain its military equipment is doomed to destruction. This is the fate of every bankrupt country historically. Sooner or later, it collapses. And the most tragic thing of all is that in all these cases, there have always been useful idiots that have led their country to destruction. I do not mean you, of course, Alexis. You and your staff there at the Maximou Mansion are people with remarkable wisdom, highly fluent speakers of English, and great diplomats, just like the excellent mayor who talks about renaming the airport, who surely is not revealing secret, under-the-table deals, but is merely speaking for himself…
This is the country which proceeds barefoot and ragged, soon to be stripped of military and defense equipment while at the same time it is launching a national space agency! What a joke! The head of this agency, the one with the Arab-owned satellites, is the government minister who traveled along with the lawyer Mr. Artemiou, the one who specializes in offshore accounts, to distant Venezuela prior to the elections, surely not to purchase peppers and beans from the supermarket.
In closing this letter, Alexis, I will ask for a personal favor. Tell that government minister of yours, the one who coordinates your government’s supposed body of work, to round up that revocable political appointee of yours, the one from Commonview, and tell him to stop threatening me over the internet for exposing his reappointment, as I have already informed the Electronic Crimes Unit of the Greek police.
Of course, you will say that you represent the governing political party, the all-powerful state, while I am a simple citizen. How could I possibly fight back? You have “European Institutes” in Florence to count how many television stations can broadcast in a banana republic, and the police acting in the role of a journalist, circulating edited videos to hide the true size of the protests. You release a news story and within a short time it is parroted in the media and on the internet, regardless of how truthful or objective it actually is. What can I, a solitary citizen, do alone?
Do you know something Alexis? I’m not alone. We are many, and while we may be impoverished, humiliated, or desperate, we are all thinking people. If you do not hear our voice, if we swallow our anger, if we do not appear to be in sorrow and if our pain is muted, that does not mean that they do not exist. And if what I am doing today is done by every citizen who does not wish to see injustice growing all around him, by the citizen who on a daily basis experiences mockery and lies, the citizen who feels desperate and afraid and as a stranger in his own country, then you will not have a platform to stand on and in the next election you will return to where you started, to the 2 percent and 3 percent share you had when you were struggling to enter parliament.
Opinions expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

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Paranoid Turkey Claims “Greece, Israel, & Egypt Are Part Of Khashoggi’s Murder Plot”

A new Turkish narrative has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Via Zerohedge


As we noted previouslythe conflict over gas in the eastern Mediterranean is intensifying.

The dispute concerns gas blocks, with Turkey furious about the energy cooperation of these Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt in the East Mediterranean Sea. While Turkish warships have been active, it appears Turkey is taking a new approach to this hybrid war.

As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports,a new Turkish narrative, based on paranoia and conspiracy theories, has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggipresumably in an effort to garner global opinion against their energy-hording neighbors.

This unbelievable allegation has been claimed by Erdogan’s close aide Yigit Bulut, who is famous for his delirium and ravings, during an appearance on state television of Turkey.

“Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of murder plot involving slain Saudi Arabia journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul,” Yigit Bulut said in TRT Television, where he is a frequent guest.

Enlisting the ‘good old traditional perception’ that Turkey is surrounded by enemies, KeepTalkingGreece notesthat Bulut said:

“a belt extending from Europe to Israel has always harbored hostility towards Turkey they never wanted Turks in this region. Europe even made Turks to fight unnecessary wars against Russia.”

It is worth noting that Russia and Turkey have come closer recently due to Syria, a cooperation sealed with armament sales to Ankara triggering the anger of US and the NATO of which Turkey is a member.

Bulut vowed that Turkey will continue oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean off-shore Cyprus.

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Turkey vows to make ‘sea bandits’ drilling gas off Cyprus pay, like ‘terrorists in Syria’ did

Ankara claims jurisdiction for offshore research in the East Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich with natural resources.

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Via RT


Ankara will not allow any “sea bandits” to roam free and tap the disputed natural gas reserves off Cyprus, Turkey’s president has vowed, while commissioning a new warship to challenge competitors militarily, should the need arise.

“We will not accept attempts to seize natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean through the exclusion of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),” Erdogan said Sunday, according to Daily Sabah. While claiming that Turkey has no ambitions to annex any “territories,” Ankara promised to protect “the rights of our country and of our brothers.”

“Those who thought that they could take steps in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Aegean despite [this] have begun to understand the magnitude of their mistake. We will not allow bandits in the seas to roam free just like we made the terrorists in Syria pay,” Erdogan said at a ceremony transferring the TCG Burgazada corvette to the Turkish Navy.

The exploration of hydrocarbon resources off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus has become a sensitive issue for the international community, ever since the first gas deposit discoveries were made off the coast in 2011. While the Republic of Cyprus belongs to the EU community and is recognized by the UN, TRNC, the northern third of the island, has been occupied by Turkey since 1974. As a result, Ankara continues to claim jurisdiction for offshore research in the East Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich with natural resources.

The region has recently witnessed an escalation in tensions, after the Turkish Navy intercepted a Greek frigate which tried to interfere with a Turkish research vessel’s seabed exploration on October 18. The incident prompted a diplomatic row with Greece, which traditionally supports the ethnically Greek government of the Republic of Cyprus. While Greece denied interfering with the Turkish research vessel, Ankara has cautioned its neighbor and longtime opponent not to stir trouble in the region.

To ease tensions, Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades has offered Turkey on Friday to cooperate on exploiting the East Mediterranean’s potential oil and gas wealth, stressing that the ethnically split island nation should be reunified. All previous international efforts to unite the island have failed. To avoid any further intercommunal tensions and hostilities the United Nations continues to maintain a buffer zone there.

“We will continue with our goal of exercising the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as an independent state – member of the European Union, proceeding seamlessly with our energy planning for the benefit of all the legitimate inhabitants of the country, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” the president noted.

US-based ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum have already been licensed by the Cypriot government to undertake seabed exploration of Block 10. Last month, Nicosia also invited France’s Total, Italy’s ENI and ExxonMobil to explore Block 7. ExxonMobil’s Stena IceMax drillship is scheduled to arrive in Cyprus on November 12. Turkey, meanwhile, started conducting its first deep-sea drilling off Antalya’s shores on its Mediterranean coast this week.

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After Embarrassing Defeat, NATO, EU and the West Try to Alter Reality in Macedonia

Amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air.

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Authored by Aleksandar Pavic via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Although the September 30, 2018 name-change referendum in Macedonia, which was supposed to set that ex-Yugoslav federal republic on a path to (certain) NATO and (blithely promised but much less certain) EU membership, failed miserably, with only 36.91% of the voters turning out, well short of the 50% + 1 necessary for it to be valid – one would never know it from the reactions of its Western proponents and impatient beneficiaries. Indeed, a new term may be needed to adequately describe the reactions of the key pillars representing the reliquiae reliquiarum of the Western-led post-Cold War unipolar moment. Fake news simply doesn’t do them justice. Fake reality anyone?

The US State Department was firmly in denial, releasing the following statement“The United States welcomes the results of the Republic of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum, in which citizens expressed their support for NATO and European Union (EU) membership by accepting the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece. The United States strongly supports the Agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, contributing to regional stability, security, and prosperity. As Macedonia’s parliament now begins deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country as a full participant in Western institutions.”

EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn wasn’t to be outdone in his contempt for the 63% of the Macedonian “deplorables” who stayed home in order to voice their disagreement with renouncing their perceived national identity and country name (it was to become “Northern Macedonia”) in exchange for the double joy of a) becoming NATO’s cannon-fodder in its increasingly hazardous game of chicken with Russia and b) the EU’s newest debt-serfs: “Referendum in Macedonia: I congratulate those citizens who voted in today’s consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms. With the very significant “yes” vote, there is broad support to the #Prespa Agreement + to the country’s #Euroatlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country.” He was seconded the following day, in a joint statement, by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission.

Understandably, as the most direct public stakeholder, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was particularly (hyper)active. As the disappointing results began to roll in, Stoltenberg went into immediate damage control, tweeting“I welcome the yes vote in Macedonia referendum. I urge all political leaders & parties to engage constructively & responsibly to seize this historic opportunity. #NATO’s door is open, but all national procedures have to be completed.” He reinforced his delusional missive the next day, releasing a similar statement co-signed by EU President Donald Tusk. And the day after, during a news conference, Stoltenberg even offered lightning-quick NATO accession to the unwilling Macedonians – January 2019, to be exact – if they would just be so kind as to urgently implement the very agreement that they had just so emphatically rejected. When NATO says it promotes democratic values – it means it!

But that wasn’t the end of the “democracy mongering” surrounding what may well prove to be NATO’s, the EU’s and the rest of the end-of-history West’s Balkan Waterloo. For example, the EU Parliament’s Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, although “regretting that the turnout was less than 50%,” nevertheless hailed the referendum’s results and “call(ed) on the opposition to respect the expressed will of the majority [sic] of voters.” The Group’s leader, Udo Bullmann, while also maintaining that, somehow, a voter turnout of under 37% still represented a “majority,” additionally used the occasion to chastise Macedonia’s President for having the nerve to call for a boycott of the referendum (he committed the crimethink of referring to it as “historical suicide” during his UN General Assembly address), as well as to decry – what else? – “reports about Russian interference in the electoral process.” It goes without saying that Bullmann offered absolutely zero proof for his assertion. On the other hand, according to numerous media reports, as September 30 approached, while no high Russian official was to be seen anywhere in the vicinity, a veritable procession of Western political bigwigs made the pilgrimage to Skopje in order to reveal to the natives their “true” best interests: Sebastian Kurz“Mad Dog” Mattis, the indefatigable StoltenbergFederica MogheriniJohannes HahnAngela Merkel. No meddling there, obviously…

Speaking of Angela Merkel, she also joined her fellow Western democrats’ show of unanimous disdain for the Macedonian voters’ majority opinion, urging the country to “push ahead” with the implementation of the majority-rejected accord, citing voters’ “overwhelming support” [sic], and arguing through the mouth of her spokesman that the required 50% + 1 turnout was actually “very high,” as voter registers purportedly included many people who had long since left the country.

Coincidentally (?), the same argument was used by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who opined that the “yes” votes cast in the referendum do, in fact, “represent the majority despite the low turnout because Macedonia does not have the 1.8 million voters entered into its electoral rolls but just 1.2 million since 300,000 people have left the country since the voter lists were last updated 20 years ago.” The fallacy of his reality-challenged claim is easily exposed if we just take a glance at the results of Macedonia’s last parliamentary elections (December 2016), in which voter turnout was just under 1.2 million (1,191,832 to be exact) or, officially, 66.79%. If we were to believe Kotzias and Merkel (who lodged no objections at the time), that would have meant that the turnout for the 2016 elections had been 99% – a figure that would make any totalitarian dictator blush with envy. On the other hand, since those elections did produce the “desired result,” enabling the current heavily pro-NATO/EU government led by Zoran Zaev to be formed, that automatically made them “valid” in the eyes of the high priests of democracy in Brussels, Berlin, London and Washington.

Needless to say, Zaev joined his Western patrons’ charade, hailing the referendum as a “democratic success,” and announcing that he would seek the Macedonian Parliament’s support to amend the constitution and get the agreement with Greece ratified (according to the so-called Prespa Agreement, the Macedonian Parliament must adopt the necessary constitutional amendments by the end of 2018) so that the Greek Parliament can do the same, which would seal the deal. However, Zaev and his Albanian political partners are currently well short of the necessary two-thirds majority (reportedly, they can count on 71 deputies, or 9 short of the needed 80), and will have to call early elections if they don’t soon succeed in securing it.

Yet, let it not go unsaid that Zaev was singing a rather different tune prior to the referendum, assuring that “citizens will make the decision,” and that Parliament would vote on the necessary constitutional changes only if the referendum is successful. But that was then, when confidence was still high that the usual combination of Western pressure, money and overwhelming domination of the media spectrum would get the job done. And then reality struck on September 30…

Still, amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air. As a Deutsche Welle opinion piece put it, the “low voter turnout for Macedonia’s referendum is a bad starting point for the country’s future development.” And, according to DW in Serbian, a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commentary warned that “politicians who otherwise ceaselessly talk of democracy as a ‘special value’ should not call on the parliament in Skopje to accept the voting results.” In other words, Macedonia’s people (read – a large majority of the majority Slavic population) have “voted with their feet” and rejected the agreement, and no new parliamentary election, no matter the results, can change that unpleasant-but-immutable fact. That alone will delegitimize any Western-led effort to “manufacture consent” by ramming the agreement through the present or future Parliament – although, as we know, NATO doesn’t put too much stock in referenda anyway, while the EU is not averse to making citizens vote as many times as needed to obtain the “right” result.

But the West has lost more than just legitimacy in Macedonia – it has damaged its reputation, perhaps irretrievably. In the words of former presidential advisor Cvetin Chilimanov, “The West has humiliated us… Macedonians have rejected this media, psychological, political and propaganda aggression against the people, and that’s the tragedy of these days, that a large percentage of a people that had been genuinely oriented towards the West has changed its mind and stopped looking at the West as something democratic, something progressive and successful… That is the reason for the boycott. Pressure was applied against Macedonia, a country that had always been open to ties with the West, but which did not want to make this disgusting compromise and humiliate itself before the neighboring countries, before Western countries. We did not understand why that humiliation was needed so that we might become a member of Europe. What’s worst, perhaps that is now the thinking of a silent majority of the people, that they won’t forget this insult and this attack on Macedonia.”

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