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The death of Alexis Grigoropoulos: CIA destabilization over Russian gas pipelines?

Almost a decade later, the case of Alexis Grigoropoulos presents more questions than answers. How is the Grigoropoulos case related to Operation Pythia, the destructive fires of 2007 and repeated scandals leading to the downfall of the Karamanlis government, oil and gas pipeline deals with the Russians, and the economic crisis which followed?

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Background

This is the decade of the 2000s, when deals were being cut between Italy, Greece, France and Russia over delivering Russian oil and gas from the South. The United States, busy spending billions on its unipolar wars, was proceeding full steam ahead in destabilizing the weak link in the chain, which was none other than Greece.

During this decade, Greece suffered fires of unimaginable magnitude, phone tapping scandals, and even attempts at murdering an elected prime minister by what has become known since then as a CIA destabilization plan. The decade ended with violent disturbances over the fatal shooting of a 15-year old schoolboy, Alexis Grigoropoulos, while the new decade kicked off with constant weather modification issues that recently resulted with dozens of deaths in flash floods in an area known as Mandra on the outskirts of Athens.

Russian Documentary

There was an extensive documentary that was aired some time ago on the Russia 24 news channel which made reference to the “Pythia” plan, which encompassed the ex-prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis over the South Stream gas pipeline and the fomenting of destabilization in Greece.

Russia 24 referred to the “insurrection” of December 2008 after the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos and mentioned that from 2009 the FSB uncovered discussions with the CIA agents which referred to removing the Greek prime minister from his position.

During that period, a close friend of Karamanlis’ by the name of Christos Zahopoulos, who had been appointed to a prominent position in the ministry of culture allegedly attempted suicide, falling off a five-story building after it was revealed he maintained an office affair and he felt guilty explaining the situation to his wife! A reaction which had previously been unheard of in Greece, mind you. But this was simply a warning.

In the summer of 2007, Greece was burnt to smithereens via two massive fires in the Peloponnese region and in the Parnitha mountain range north of Athens, while in December of 2008 riots ensued for one month. The aura created at the time was that the government had lost control, with demands allegedly for martial law. The government’s mandate was until 2011, but eventually they went for early elections in 2009. In other words, the government was brought down and one of the first measures taken by the incoming government of George Papandreou was the cancellation of the Russian gas contracts.

What happened with Alexis Grigoropoulos?

As the story goes, allegedly the police were passing by in a car in the “radical” Exarchia neighborhood of Athens, and Alexis and his friends threw rocks at it. Police got out and shot at them, killing Alexis. The video that has been produced is grainy, taken in the night, and no one can make heads or tails of it. Whilst Alexis was a resident of the well-to-do northern suburbs of Athens, he was buried in the south of Athens, in a left-wing area. His coffin was a closed casket – again unusual. The mainstream media circulated he was an “anarchist” at the ripe old age of 15. The pictures they circulated sometimes were from a real victim of disturbances, Mihalis Kaltezas.

On the night of Alexis’ murder and within an hour or so of its occurrence, there were disturbances in a number of cities which continued for a number of days. They reached a crescendo of burning local businesses and migrants were employed to loot them. Foreign participants flew over from the UK, for instance, to take part. Social media went almost global over the event.

December 2008 is widely regarded as the time Twitter “took off” as a social medium in Greece. And since that time, the Greek “twittersphere” has been a stronghold of “antifa” and self-styled “leftists,” and to a lesser extent, a “liberal” and pro-technocracy contingent. The thread connecting these two elements is their absolute love for the EU and globalism, the incredibly coordinated manner in which they seem to have responded to events such as the Grigoropoulos shooting in 2008, and the almost simultaneous disappearance or sudden inactivity of many such prominent Twitter accounts soon after SYRIZA’s electoral victory in January 2015.

For example, soon after the large-scale fires of 2007, Greece’s first-ever protests purportedly organized via SMS text messaging and by bloggers “spontaneously” appeared in Athens and other large cities. Organizers of these demonstrations were later said to have participated in the December 2008 disturbances, in addition to involvement with such groups as the Athens Indymedia Center, which also played a key role during the December 2008 riots. Also in 2007, an alleged police beating of a UK-born photographer during a demonstration in Thessaloniki went “viral,” in one of the earliest such instances in Greece. The individual in question is later said to have participated in the December 2008 disturbances. Could all of this have been a coordinated prelude to what was to follow in Greece?

What actually happened?

It is beyond reasonable doubt that Grigoropoulos wasn’t an “anarchist” and never had any political involvement. According to the same mainstream media reports his family, soon after his death, said that he was friends with police and hated violence, while Grigoropoulos’ friends stated that if he was alive he would have condemned all the subsequent events in his name. But most of these reports disappeared as per the account which follows.

A special policeman by the name of Epameinondas Korkoneas is said to have shot Grigoropoulos dead at almost point blank range for unexplained reasons or reasons to do with allegedly throwing a bottle of beer at a police car. As if one bottle threatened the police enough to warrant a shooting? Subsequently the state invented a character who was allegedly friends with Alexis by the name of Nikos Romanos, who then became a hardcore “anarchist” constantly in and out of prison.

Romanos recounted a totally different story than the one circulated at the time, but hey, the mainstream media control the narrative and make it up as they go along, as they have done with so many other events the world over pertaining to “terrorism.” Romanos is the son of George Nazioutsik, who owns a 55-acre wedding venue and museum on the outskirts of Athens in total opulence. What actual issues of oppression did a rich boy in Greece face in 2009? None. This is Greece we are talking about, where the rich youth can spend months in the summer in nightclubs on the islands and in the winter can travel to northern Europe. This isn’t pre-revolutionary Russia with the absolutism of the Tsars and Narodnya Volya where Lenin’s brothers were killed in terrorist actions.

Therefore, speculating as to what actually happened as we won’t know for certain until government files are made public, we arrive at three possible scenarios. One scenario involves special forces bumping off Grigoropoulos to spark a riot, a hybrid war of destabilization against the Karamanlis regime as part of the “Pythia” plan. In a second scenario, he died of other causes (such as drugs), while in a third scenario, Grigoropoulos was exported to the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” the good ol’ US of A and was used as a … “victim” of a “police shootout.”

The plan was so well organized that rocks from the beach areas were present in demonstrations, brought into Athens by trucks so the young protestors could have a large supply of objects to throw at the police. It’s as if the state was fighting the state and the protestors were pawns in the middle. The volume of shops attacked was vast, and videos surfaced of migrants looting small Greek-owned businesses. This was the period when protests had already started in central Athens against the presence of swarms of illegal migrants who lived in public squares, literally turning them into public latrines.

The funeral of Alexis in Athens

Despite being a resident of the wealthy northern suburbs of Athens, Alexis was buried in the south of Athens, in a working-class district and specifically in the Neos Kosmos-Palaio Faliro graveyards. Thousands of youth arrived and the police deliberately targeted them. They tear gassed a funeral cortege so as to create more mayhem. It’s as if the state was saying: we will bump your children off and then attack the mourners as if this were occupied Palestine.

The actual funeral was with a closed casket and if one reviews the videos of the era, one sees the paid presstitutes arguing that Karamanlis enjoyed no popular support, that there was a social explosion (at least 4 years prior to unemployment officially reaching 30 percent) due to the fraud of Vatopedi (priests selling off land in the monastic region of Agion Oros), etc. Something doesn’t add up.

Court Case 8 Years Later and counting…

Two policemen were charged for the murder, Korkoneas and Vasilis Saraliotis: Korkoneas for the actual shooting, and Skaraliotis for indirectly supporting him. Zoe Konstantopoulou, the former president of Greece’s Parliament in the first SYRIZA government, has become the lawyer for Alexis’ mother, Ms. Tsalikian. The irony of the situation is that in 2017, she stated in court, under oath, that the murder of her son was part of this aforementioned “Pythia” plan, essentially stating that the policeman who murdered her son was a U.S. agent. She also stated that her son was only in Exarchia to celebrate Romanos’ birthday. In a video interview recorded in 2010, Alexis’ mother stated that her son was killed for no reason.

Now, taking into account this event happened in 2008, we are dealing with a “court case” that has been ongoing for nearly a decade. This begs the question, is it a court case or just a continuation of the propaganda regarding this whole issue and the characters involved are there to continue this event? We have two sets of explanations by Alexis’ mother with regards to the causes of her son’s death, separated by almost a decade. Since 2008, the issue of the CIA destabilization plans have gone mainstream as a number of media have published various accounts regarding this topic, and so as to not appear to be left out of the loop the storyline changes.

Who is Alexis’ mother, Jina Tsalikian?

Just as Grigoropoulos’ alleged friend Romanos is the son of someone who is wealthy by Greek standards, Alexis’ mother owned a gold jewelry store in Athens’ premier shopping street, known as Voukourestiou. Jina was married to a banker, so she is known in high society. Not long ago after divorcing, she married a ship owner. It is alleged she had a close personal relationship with Dora Bakogianni, the daughter of Greece’s former prime minister and close friend of the Bush family, Konstantinos Mitsotakis. The Mitsotakis clan were well-known CIA supporters from the mid-1960s. This family has been pivotal at all turning points in Greece’s latter-day history, from bringing down a Papandreou government in the mid-1960’s, to the issues surrounding the “restoration” of “democracy” in the mid-1970s after the colonels’ coup and subsequent dictatorship, and in the issues surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s. What we can see is that the security services of Greece serve different foreign powers depending on the situation. As for Tsalikian, it was also reported she was compensated to the tune of 800,000 euro following the murder of her son.

Looking back at this period, one can see the establishment ended up playing a double role. They undermined the government to such an extent that it was forced to resign and declare early elections in 2009 instead of the scheduled elections in 2011. This comes in stark contrast to today’s situation, where the SYRIZA-led government are doing everything in their power to postpone elections and stay in power for as long as possible. At the same time, the establishment trained the paramilitary police, both in official uniform and plain clothes, for the events that were to rock Greece in the next decade. Indeed, one of the first measures of the newly elected Papandreou government was to block the gas pipeline agreement with Russia. Nothing, it appears, goes to waste in the CIA Disneyland that is Greece. The question that now concerns us is this: do we have a shift in U.S. foreign policy and will Russia be allowed to sell gas and oil to the Southern European states as they do with the northern countries, or will CIA destabilization continue?

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The Mediterranean Pipeline Wars Are Heating Up

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland.

The Duran

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Authored by Viktor Katona via Oilprice.com:


Things have been quite active in the Eastern Mediterranean lately, with Israel, Cyprus and Greece pushing forward for the realization of the EastMed pipeline, a new gas conduit destined to diversify Europe’s natural gas sources and find a long-term reliable market outlet for all the recent Mediterranean gas discoveries. The three sides have reached an agreement in late November (roughly a year after signing the MoU) to lay the pipeline, the estimated cost of which hovers around $7 billion (roughly the same as rival TurkStream’s construction cost). Yet behind the brave facade, it is still very early to talk about EastMed as a viable and profitable project as it faces an uphill battle with traditionally difficult Levantine geopolitics, as well as field geology.

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland. Since most of its subsea section is projected to be laid at depths of 3-3.5 kilometer, in case it is built it would become the deepest subsea gas pipeline, most probably the longest, too, with an estimated length of 1900km. The countries involved proceed from the premise that the pipeline’s throughput capacity would be 20 BCM per year (706 BCf), although previous estimates were within the 12-16 BCm per year interval. According to Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli Energy Minister, the stakeholders would need a year to iron out all the remaining administrative issues and 4-5 years to build the pipeline, meaning it could come onstream not before 2025.

The idea of EastMed was first flaunted around 2009-2010 as the first more or less substantial gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Tamar gas field in Israel’s offshore zone, paved the way for speculations about an impending gas boom. Then came the 535 BCm (18.9 TCf) Leviathan in 2010 and the 850 BCm (30 TCf) Zohr discovery in offshore Egypt five years later and suddenly it seemed that an Eastern Mediterranean gas expansion is inevitable. Yet over the years, the operators of Leviathan have already allocated part of their total gas volumes to domestic power generating companies and most notably NEPCO, the Jordanian electric power company (1.6-2BCm per year). Egypt has been concentrating on meeting domestic needs and getting rid of LNG imports, moreover once it bounces back to gas exporter status in 2019, it will only use its own 2 LNG terminals in Damietta and Idku.

Thus, a pertinent question arises – whose gas would be used to fill the EastMed pipeline? If the pipeline starts in offshore Cyprus, then it would be logical to expect that Cyprus’ gas bounty would be somehow utilized. Yet Cyprus has been lagging behind Egypt and Israel in its offshore endeavors and so far lacks a clear-cut giant field to base its supply future on. The two discoveries appraised heretofore, the 6-8 TCf Calypso operated by ENI and the 4.5 TCf Aphrodite operated by Noble Energy, are not enough to support the construction of a relatively expensive gas pipeline – all the more so as Noble has signed a provisional deal to send Aphrodite gas to Egypt’s Idku LNG terminal, most likely by means of a subsea gas pipeline. If we are to judge the viability of the EastMed on the current situation, there is only Calypso and Israel to fill the pipeline, as Greece’s gas export plans are close to zero on the probability scale.

The subsea section from Cyprus’ offshore zone to the island of Crete lies in depths of 3km and is stretched across a seismically active zone. But there is even more – should Turkey claim rights on Cyprus’ offshore hydrocarbon deposits (in February 2018 it sent warships to scare away ENI’s drilling rig that was on its way to xxx), the project is all but dead. This is far from an implausible scenario as President Erdogan stated that Turkey would never allow for the extortion of natural resources in the East Mediterranean by means of excluding Ankara and Northern Cyprus. Cognizant of the risks inherent in an East Mediterranean gas pipeline, there has been no interest from oil and gas majors to participate in the project. This is worrying as the $7 billion are expected to be financed from private investors, of which there is a palpable dearth – despite the EU’s 35 million funding to promote what it sees as a Project of Common Interest.

Yet even for the European Union, the EastMed gas pipeline presents a bit of a headache as its commissioning would render the Southern Gas Corridor, comprising so far only of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with a 10 BCm per year throughput capacity, irrelevant by creating a sort-of competitor. The price of the natural gas to be supplied via the EastMed pipeline might become the biggest obstacle of them all – if the cost of producing offshore Mediterranean gas turns out to be $4-5/MMBtu as expected, the addition of further transportation costs to it all would place EastMed supplied at the bottom range of European gas supply options (Russian gas supply is alleged to be profitable with price levels as low as $4/MMbtu). All this might change if any of the East Mediterranean countries were to discover a giant gas field, altering the economics of production or possibly even liquefaction.

In fact, 2019 will witness several key wells being drilled across Cyprus, Egypt and possibly even Israel. ExxonMobil’s testing of Block 10 in offshore Cyprus would largely point to the overall attractiveness of Cyprus as an oil and gas producing country – the drilling has already started, with results expected in Q1 2019. The ENI-operated Noor offshore field in Egypt, adjacent to Zohr, is a much hotter prospect with BP buying into it lately – most likely it will outshine all the other drilling sites in the Eastern Mediterranean, however, if a big discovery is confirmed, it would be most likely used for Egyptian purposes which run counter to the EastMed gas pipeline. Thus, EastMed’s only hope is that Israel 2nd international licensing round, results to be announced in July 2019, will elicit a couple of Leviathan-like finds that would make pipeline construction profitable. Until then, the prospects are rather bleak.

By Viktor Katona for Oilprice.com

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Turkey’s Threats against Greece

Erdogan believes that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered.

The Duran

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Authored by Debalina Ghoshal via The Gatestne Institute:


  • The one issue on which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his opposition are in “complete agreement” is the “conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered.”
  • “So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean.” – Uzay Bulut, Turkish journalist.
  • Ankara’s ongoing challenges to Greek land and sea sovereignty are additional reasons to keep it from enjoying full acceptance in Europe and the rest of the West.

In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that the Greek Aegean island of Agathonisi (pictured) was Turkish territory. (Image source: Hans-Heinrich Hoffmann/Wikimedia Commons)

Turkey’s “persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations” was called out in a November 14 letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres by Polly Ioannou, the deputy permanent representative of Cyprus to the UN.

Reproving Ankara for its repeated violations of Cypriot airspace and territorial waters, Ioannou wrote of Turkey’s policy:

“[it] is a constant threat to international peace and security, has a negative impact on regional stability, jeopardises the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process.”

The letter followed reports in August about Turkish violations of Greek airspace over the northeastern, central and southeastern parts of the Aegean Sea, and four instances of Turkey violating aviation norms by infringing on the Athens Flight Information Region (AFIR). Similar reports emerged in June of Turkey violating Greek AFIR by conducting unauthorized flights over the southern Aegean islets of Mavra, Levitha, Kinaros and Agathonisi.

In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that Agathonisi was Turkish territory. A day earlier, a different Turkish minister announced that Turkey “would not allow Greece to establish a status of ‘fait accompli’ in the ‘disputed’ regions in the Aegean Sea.” In December 2017, Greek Deputy Minister of Shipping Nektarios Santonirios reportedly “presented a plan to populate a number of uninhabited eastern Aegean islands to deter Turkish claims to the land.”

According to a recent statement from Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“Greek-Turkish disputes over the Aegean continental shelf date back to November 1973, when the Turkish Government Gazette published a decision to grant the Turkish national petroleum company permits to conduct research in the Greek continental shelf west of Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean.

“Since then, the repeated Turkish attempts to violate Greece’s sovereign rights on the continental shelf have become a serious source of friction in the two countries’ bilateral relations, even bringing them close to war (1974, 1976, 1987).”

This friction has only increased with the authoritarian rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, particularly since, as Uzay Bulut notes:

There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean.

The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more powerful and patriotic, and which possesses the courage to carry out the threat against Greece. While the CHP is accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party of enabling Greece to occupy Turkish lands, the AKP is attacking the CHP, Turkey’s founding party, for allowing Greece to take the islands through the 1924 Treaty of Lausanne, the 1932 Turkish-Italian Agreements, and the 1947 Paris Treaty, which recognized the islands of the Aegean as Greek territory.

This has been Turkish policy despite the fact that both Greece and Turkey have been members of NATO since 1952. Greece became a member of the European Union in 1981 — a status that Turkey has spent decades failing to achieve, mainly due to its human-rights violations.

Recently, EU and Turkish officials met in Brussels on November 30 to discuss an intelligence-sharing agreement between the European Police Service (Europol) and Ankara. Such an agreement is reportedly one of 72 requirements that Ankara would have to meet in order to receive visa-free travel to the Schengen zone.

Ankara’s ongoing challenges to Greek land and sea sovereignty are additional reasons to keep it from enjoying full acceptance in Europe and the rest of the West.

Debalina Ghoshal, an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile issues, is based in India.

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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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