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By John Helmer, Moscow

It’s religious to believe that a slight young man with a slingshot can defeat a heavily armed giant with a single stone.

No general, head of government, or national electorate can rationally calculate risking their fortunes and fates on such a disadvantageous ratio of force;  on a lucky shot;  and on an article of faith. Icons can motivate soldiers to ignore the odds of survival in a battle; they don’t win wars of attrition.

In the two hundred years since Greece freed itself of Turkish rule with Russian and British support, it’s to be expected that the Greeks would be obliged to count and counter the strengths of their enemies with the resources of their friends. Over the years this Greek calculation has required them to conceal, lie, cheat, fabricate, and steal from them all when their survival was at stake.

In retrospect of the 20th century, that has happened more often to the Greeks than to most other Europeans. In the outcome for them of the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913; World War I; the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-22; the Italian and German invasions of  World War II;  the Civil War of 1945-49; the military dictatorship of 1967-74, the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cypus from 1974; and the European bailout terms of 2015, the Greeks have suffered incomparable  losses.  Measuring by the European standard of destructiveness in war — civil war and invasion — only one country exceeds Russia (and possibly Serbia) in the frequency of violence, in the percentage losses of Gross Domestic Product, and  in casualties per head of population: this  is Greece. In the anti-Russian European alliance of today, no country has been as damaged by the violence and depredations of its own allies — the Turks, Italians, Germans, British, and Americans — as Greece.

That is,  until the US and NATO allies decided on war with Russia to be fought to the last Ukrainian and to the end of the Ukrainian state. For the time being, though, the money which the US,  the UK and NATO allies, and the International Monetary Fund have paid into the Kiev regime dwarfs the sums of reparations, compensation and aid paid to Greece.

Notwithstanding, in the current war none of these allies has concealed its role in the battlefield fight against Russia more clumsily than the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis (lead image, left) and his uncle, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (right).  No communist party in Europe has been as outspoken as the Greek Communist Party (KKE) in its verbal attacks on Russia.  No domestic oligarchs have put their capital to the aid of Russia as much as the Greek tanker fleet owners. No rocket forces commander has exchanged one anti-aircraft and missile defence system which works for another which does not as the Greek exchange of the Russian S-300 for the US Patriot.

These aren’t individual Greek faults or follies. They are contradictions which have political and economic reasons. But there  is a standard of deceit below which not even the Greeks in their historic and current predicament should fall. This is when the Greeks deceive and cheat each other for self-enrichment,  and for the benefit of the country’s enemies. The first of these is  corruption; the second is treason. When the two are combined in the running of the state – election votes, parliamentary majority, formation of government, allocation of budget, military pacts,  security service operations  – and when all of this is camouflaged by the courts and the media, then the country is committing suicide.

Is this the present fate of Greece? Listen to the discussion between Slobodan Despot, Alexander Mercouris, and John Helmer.

The podcast was recorded on June 13 and runs for an hour and forty minutes. Click for the playback link here. The transcript of the interview can be read here.

Source:  https://drive.google.com/
For Slobodan Despot’s website and texts, https://antipresse.net/ 

A month ago, when the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis,  was tricked into thinking he was on the telephone with his Warsaw counterpart, Rafał Trzaskowski,  he revealed that the Greek government has decided to provide the Ukrainian military with the Russian S-300 missile batteries installed in western Crete since 1998. The transfer, he said, will be made through a third country, Poland, in order to conceal its origin and final destination on the Ukrainian battlefield.  

The conversation, produced by the Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus,  was recorded in English and can be listened to here.   

As reported in the Russian press, the incident makes it appear that it is the conservative New Democracy (ND) party government which is responsible, alone in Greek politics, for double-crossing Moscow over the S-300s. In fact —  and the story is a long one —  the Greek S-300s were originally ordered and paid for by the Cyprus government to defend the island against fresh Turkish attacks. Under Turkish pressure, reinforced by the US, the Cypriots were forced to give the missile defences up, and they were transferred to western Crete,  beyond range for defending Cyprus. The decision to do that, betraying both the Cypriots and the Russians, were taken by the Greek prime minister at the time, Kostas Simitis and his Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

“The Simitis gang conned the Cyriots,” a senior official in Nicosia comments, “ encouraging them to buy it , the Greek MOD [Ministry of Defense] gave the specs and then pressured them to give it up. It cost Cyprus close to half a billion [dollars], plus the system plus the land infrastructure, Later, it was the Israelis who set up mock combat trials and practised with the Turks on how to attack it.”

Two systems of the S-300 PMU-1 model, with 16 launchers and 175 missiles, were based at a NATO firing range near Souda Bay.  This location is 780 kilometres from Cyprus, far beyond the interception range of these missiles to intercept Turkish aircraft at a maximum of 200 kms.

Both ND and PASOK prime ministers allowed the S-300 units to be test-fired.  But it was the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who secretly agreed to the Israeli Air Force testing the Russian system for application against Syria; the US had told Tsipras to agree.  That was in 2015.  Officially, according to the Tsipras government, “at this moment the S-300 is not in operation.” This was false. Follow the S-300 story here.  

Greek TV shows publicly a first test firing of the S-300 at Souda Bay in December 2013.  The prime minister at the time was Antonis Samaras of ND. 

The significance of Bakoyannis’s disclosure in the Russian prank is played down by a well-informed Athens political source. “Bakoyannis is a political moron. Now the mayor of Athens, his mother Dora [Bakoyannis] of the Mitsotakis dynasty wanted to become PM herself, but lost to her brother Kyriakos, the current PM, So she is grooming her son as the next PM of Greece to succeed his uncle. I do not think Bakoyannis junior ever worked a day in his life other than holding local mayorships before the Athens mayoralty which his mother hopes to be the jumping post for PM. I frankly cannot take seriously whatever he says about foreign policy. Maybe because of his connections and his mother he has inside information.”

“Bear in mind that for good or ill, Greece is in NATO and the European Union [EU]. For sure they cannot, and more importantly do not want to a play [the pro-Russian role]  akin to Turkey. The Greeks are vassals. And they are afraid of the Turks. Since the 1950s the Americans taught them to be afraid of the Turks but not to worry because the Americans would  always be there to save them. They might lose a foot, a hand or a toe,  but not their lives. So they behave accordingly.”

“The existing state of Russian-Greek relations is extremely regrettable to me.  But I am equally concerned about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. They are establishing a relationship that poses a truly existential threat to us. It’s only a matter of time before Ankara acquires nuclear weapons. Akkuyu [Russian-built nuclear reactor] is only 150 kilometres from Cyprus. The Russians are the enablers.”

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant is the first large-scale electricity producer in Turkey; its first unit becomes operational this year. Supply of fuel is the responsibility of Rosatom. Storage of waste is on Turkish territory. Read more.  

“Yes,  the historic relationship between Greeks and Russians is going to the dogs , I cannot disagree with that, ” the source adds from Athens.

GOn June 25 Greeks go to a new national parliamentary election following the failure of ND’s Mitsotakis to win a ruling majority in May. On the present polls, he is unlikely to make significantly greater gains in votes or seats in parliament. Tsipras’s SYRIZA will struggle to keep from a further decline of its voter base; with improving turnout these votes are now going to  several smaller parties. The anti-Russian parties on the left – SYRIZA,  PASOK, and Yannis Varoufakis’s MeRA25 – are losing public support on that issue, while the rank and file voters of the KKE and the Greek labour unions have become more demonstratively anti-NATO, anti-Ukrainian.

In the current Greek political lineup, approximately 20%, one voter in five, is now openly opposed to the gocvernment’s NATO line for war against Russia; the undisclosed number is likely to be greater. This may be a relatively larger bloc than can be found elsewhere in western Europe.  


Click to enlarge lines representing average of all polls as recorded by Politico for each of the main Greek parties, plus details of the parties.The anti-NATO, pro-Russian votes are aligned with KKE, Niki, PE, and EL.

For background to the discussion of why Turkish lobbying in Moscow has been far more effective than the Greeks, read this.   The only Greek-Russian with an oligarch-sized fortune, Ivan Savvidis, a tobacco merchant and football club promoter, has played next to no role in recent Russian politics; this is the reason the US Treasury has not sanctioned him. Savvidis’ sports interests are in Greece,  and he has failed to compete with Russian football club oligarchs who are far more politically more politically influential with the Kremlin.

The role of the Greek shipping oligarchs in the sanctions-busting movement of Russian oil exports can be seen in a series of charts published on June 11 by the anti-Russian investment promoter, Robin Brooks,  in seven parts, starting here.  Brooks works for a Washington think-tank funded by international banks.  Brooks’s data tables speak for themselves; his anti-Russian interpretations can be ignored.


For background to the discussion of the Russian Orthodox Church, church-state relations, and the Napoleonic Concordat with Pope Pius VII, read this.   For the 200-year history of Russia-Greek promises and disappointments, click.  

The broadcast concludes with a discussion of how the NATO war against Serbia has transformed Serbian national identity, and a reminder of the modern icons of Greek identity – Zorba of Nikos Kazantzakis the writer, Anthony Quinn the actor, and Mikis Theodorakis the composer.

The original dance filmed on Stavros Beach, near Khania, Crete, in 1964.  

The final dance filmed in Munich in 1995; Quinn was 80 years old (died in 2001); Theodorakis 70 (died 2021).  

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