(This is Part 1 of a III part series, at the end of the article there is a link to continue to Part II)
Citizens across Greece are trying to come to grips with the classified documents that claim that “shady forces” were plotting the assassination of former Prime Minister of Greece Costas Karamanlis. Greek political magazine Epikaira on Thursday June 17, 2011 dedicated most of its magazine to several documents from Greece’s Secret Services (KYP) that talk about a conspiracy which was designed in 2008 to assassinate the former Prime Minister of Greece Costas Karamanlis.
The magazine said that the information in the controversial documents intelligence reports from Russian sources, and in particular by a Russian officer who gave a detailed description of all the events and actions that occurred during that period under the title “Working Group” of the FSB (Russian secrete services).
According the article, the plot was uncovered by the FSB during a hacking attempt on the telephone communication between the Greek and the Russian PMs and was subsequently intercepted. Following this revelation, a group of 19 Russian intelligence officers came to Athens to investigate the wire-tapping and stumbled on the planned assassination and thus began to monitor Karamanlis’ moves at the beginning of April 2008.
The Russian officials uncovered the assassination plot codenamed “Pythia 1”, and, after analyzing the evidence, concluded that it was the brainchild of an allied country. More specifically, the planned assassination would be carried out by a “shady” team of individuals, and was directly linked to Karamanlis’s pro-energy policies and tight relations with Russia, which the west and other Greek allies did not approve of.
Pythia 1 had four main points
The assassination plot against Karamanlis had as its objective to postpone and/or cancel his government’s decision to move ahead with an energy policy that would make Greece a fair player on the global energy market, while it was part of a larger plan that was set to totally destablize the country’s economic and political system.
- First Phase: Political instability. During Karamanlis’ run as Prime Minister, the political climate in Greece began to crumble and the mainstream media (which some hint were bought out to do so) suddenly began broadcasting stories suggesting that the government of Karamanlis was accepting kickbacks or was involved in money laundering in the Monastery of Vatopedi case. The news began to tarnish the image of Karamanlis’ Cabinet, while the aim was to strike at the core… Karamanlis himself so that he could lose his credibility with the people. It worked. After months and months of propaganda, the people turned their back on Karamanlis, his political career was totally tarnished, and he lost the elections to George Papandreou in October 2009.
- Second Phase: Economic unrest: This was achieved with various methods that even included the various kidnappings of several prominent businessmen, throwing the business community in a panic.
- Third Phase: Social instability. This was implemented with various forms of social unrest, including terrorist acts.
- Fourth Phase: Weaken Foreign Policy. Karamanlis’ foreign policy began to suddenly show signs of weakening and Greece began to suddenly lose ground with its allies.
According to their findings, the probable attempt would have been made while the former Prime Minister was on route to his office in Athens. The Russian team believed because they tracked several unidentified vehicles following the former premier’s entourage all the way from his home in Rafina up to Attica Road at the Olympic Stadium. The vehicle, according to the article, bore Greek license plates, but Russian intelligence agents later discovered that they were fake. The same sources note that at some point in their investigation they even actually came face to face with the group of conspirators in the area of Nea Makri (on the outskirts of Athens), and more specifically at the junction of traffic lights leading to the Monastery of Aghio Ephraim. (Details further down)
The first vehicle they began to monitor was a VAN, brand Toyota Hiace.While tracking the suspects, the Russian intelligence officers also tapped into their cell phones, which they used frequently to communicate with.
This vehicle was also spotted on Marathon Avenue at the height of Pikermi. The suspects, claims the FSB team, were recording the speed procession of Karamanlis’ car and at the same time monitoring the accompanying vehicles, the people escorting the PM, etc. At this particular intersection, the Russians identified a second vehicle type VAN, brand FORD TRANSIT, blue, which bore Greek plates (fake, as identified by the above working group later) that was also monitoring the former Premier’s entourage both in the month of March and in the month of April of 2008, or so the magazine article notes.
Karamanlis’ car route was apparently also being monitored in several other key areas:
- A. In the area of CARREFOUR in Geraka (a northern Athens suburb);
- B. Near the Greek National Television Channel (ERT) in Aghia Paraskevi;
- C. In the area of AB Vassilopoulos (super-market) in Holargo.
It was here that the Russian agents discovered a third vehicle, a 1995-1996 silver BMW, with German license plates. The Russian agents said that the silver vehicle was perceived as being suspicious because at these particular junctions the FORD TRANSIT VAN reappeared and both vehicles were in direct contact with one another (remember the Russian agents were tapping their phones).
The agents then said that they also spotted the VAN in the abovementioned areas B and C. And they added that in June 2008 all three vehicles were spotted together monitoring Karamanlis’ car in the area of Holargos, near Faneromeni street.
The article in Epikaira also says that after keeping a watchful eye on the ex PM’s car, the Russian officials noticed that four males were always seen riding in the beige Toyota Hiace VAN, three in the Ford Transit while the BMW always had two female passengers. The FSB also said that the suspects also came in contact with other supporting groups as well.
When analyzing the evidence, the Russian agents concluded that the suspects were not from the extreme left, or various anarchist groups. In their report to their Greek counterparts, the Russian intelligence officers also said that the results of the cell phone tapping found that that the suspects also spoke perfect Greek.
Interestingly enough, when the three vehicles were detected together in the area of Holargos (early June 2008 on Faneromeni str.), a further two suspects (young people) also appeared who were said to be of non-Greek origin and according to the magazine, were British nationals.
Between April 20 and 25, 2008 in the area of Nea Makri (several kilometers north-east of Athens), and particularly near the Monastery of Aghios Ephrem, a “controlled” process of engagement took place, that lasted almost 30 seconds, between the Russian group and the suspects. This “controlled” process of engagement was carried out because the FSB had identified one of the vehicles, specifically the type Toyota Hiace Van in this area. There were apparently four Russian agents involved in this engagement, while there were only two suspects noted in the Van. The report in Epikaira said at this point that these two particular suspects were muscular and spoke perfect Greek, and decided to escape from the area and abandon the Van using an Enduro motorbike once they realized that they were being monitored.
Russian authorities then examined the Van and discovered a detailed record of the route used by the former PM. At the same time they also found maps which marked the various intersections that the suspects had made with their surveillance of Karamanlis’ car as well as the meeting points of their support groups. Interestingly, the maps also included the Faneromeni Holargos intersection, which was mentioned a little earlier.
Shockingly, the FSB agents also uncovered another mysterious “map” outlining the parking lots of CARREFOUR and Goody’s establishments on Attiki Road (This we could not understand), and in addition to this they also found maps of the areas of Aghia Paraskevi, Halandri, Holargos and Papagou.
But there was more. The agents also found Night Observation equipment such as binoculars, explosive C-4 materials and other such weapons as well as a TOKAREV KALASNIKOF. Among the many other things they discovered they also found camouflage materials (old and new), makeup (such as eyeliners), unused hoods and even woman’s clothing. Parallel to this, they also discovered communications systems synchronously at frequencies of Police high definition range, a remote control, food (dried food and chocolates) and camping equipment (said to be tents).
All the above components and materials were then sent and examined in Moscow crime labs and the results revealed that:
- They were objects used in an organized plan and target tracking scheme which was organized by Western intelligence agencies with the involvement of homologous Israeli Services.
- That they would be used by Greeks.
- That their objective was to carry out an attack against the former prime minister, especially with the aim of postponing or cancelling Greece’s energy policy.
With the data in hand, Karamanlis was then informed from Greek intelligence services. It was at this point that Greek intelligence officials decided to beef up the security of the former premier, but nonetheless it was insufficient, so Karamanlis’ personal security forces continually changed their daily route so that they could defend his well-being.
(After the article in Epikaira was published, Greek press reports said that Karamanlis asked that it not be publicized because he did not want to upset and/or worry his loved ones about it..In fact a close associate of Karamanlis told the Real News newspaper a couple of days after the article appeared in Epikaira that during this horrific period, the former prime minister was very distant, distrought and he rarely communicated with his team -via his mobile phone-.
The only television channel to broadcast the news was ANT1, for some odd reason every other channel in Greece totally ignored it. The report is quite revealing.
Why would they want to assassinate Karamanlis?
- Karamanlis said no to the Kofi Annan plan which everyone later admitted would have been disastrous for the divided island of Cyprus, whereas George Papandreou said yes…
- Karamanlis said no to the division of the Aegean Sea with a share going to Turkey…. While it seems as though George Papandreou said yes…
- Karamanlis said no to FYROM’s entrance to NATO, claiming that both nations had to resolve the issue of the name first and arguing that if FYROM was allowed to join NATO without doing this first, then it would automatically gain formal recognition… something that we all know infuriated former US President George Bush.
- Karamanlis saw the economic tsunami approaching, and he opened the market to the Chinese.
- Karamanlis made contacts in Egypt so that he could proclaim Greece’s EEZ. –check relevant article on blog
- Karamanlis wanted energy independence for Greece, knowing very well that Greece was sitting on one of the largest natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean.
- Karamanlis wanted to stabilize the northern area of Greece and allow it to develop and for this he signed for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline which would have transported Russian natural gas to Europe, aided our economy as well as create at least 5,000 jobs
- Karamanlis went ahead with yet another energy project to develop the Greek – Italian pipeline
- He also pushed for the SOUTH STREAM project.
- He endorsed the Greek – Bulgarian gas pipeline.
- He pushed for a second electrical interconnection cooperation agreement with Bulgaria.
- He decreased the level of unemployment, and raised revenues from 311 to 454 Euros.
- He raised pension benefits for low income pension earners, or increased the EKAS from 141 to 230 Euros.
- He established the Social Cohesion Fund, for the economically impovrished.
- He gave 500 million Euros in aid to farmers.
- Karamanlis increased the basic pension by 64% from 201 to 330 Euros per month.
- And much, much, much more…
What he was faced with throughout his term as PM
- The sudden death of the Patriarch of Alexandria, which we later discovered in Wikileaks articles was aimed to kill Russian President V.Putin.
- A wire-tapping scandal by the US embassy in Athens.
- The unexplained fires in the Peloponnese which coast the lives of almost 100 people, and which we later discovered were organized and executed by Turkish secret services.
- The 2008 December events, which totally destroyed the economic activity of central Athens, and threw our country in total war with anarchists (who were not Greek), for several days…
- The total negativity of the domestic media, which was and has always supported the left-wing PASOK party.
- And much, much, much more….
In his last speech before losing office to George Papandreou, Karamanlis indirectly told us, or rather warned us of the things to come