Robbing Greek national wealth

by Dr phil Henriette Hanke Güttinger

An early morning message on Radio “Deutschlandfunk” (German Radio) informs us that Fraport, an investment company located in Frankfurt, is going to take over 14 regional airports in Greece. Now the time has come: the Greek national wealth is being plundered after the country has been lured into a debt trap. This procedure is not new. In the 1960s and 70s it was used in the Third World, as John Perkins described it in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”.1 At that time Perkins talked developing countries into starting oversized infrastructure projects by making use of false figures and forecasts. As a consequence the countries took up huge loans which pushed them into the debt trap. Subsequently they were subjected to “the economic interests of the United States”. In his book, Perkins reports numerous examples and portrays how he and others hired by the NSA, (the US domestic intelligence service), used to lead country by country into this trap in service of the United States.
This is the first time that a nation on the European continent, Greece, is declared open for plundering. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), a public limited company with the Greek state as the sole shareholder is the responsible authority to execute the related privatisation. Since March 2015 in addition to five Greek members one observer from the euro zone and one from the EU Commission have taken seats on the Board of Directors of the HRADF. The assets that have been transferred from the government to the HRADF consist of real estate, company shares, and other entitlements. Once the assets are with the HRADF, they can no longer be transferred back to the state. The asset development plan of the HRADF as of 30 July 2015 gives an impression of this procedures of privatisation:
1.    Regional airports: 14 regional airports, split into two groups of 7 airports each [...]
2.    Athens-Ellinikon: Former airport of Athens, 6,000,000 m2 real estate on the coast [...]
3.    Astir Vouliagmenis Hotel Complex, Astir Palace Vouliagmeni SA including marina [...]
4.    Afandou, Rhodes: Development of two properties in the district Afandou on Rhodes Island for golf and tourism [...]
5.    Greek gas pipeline transmission system operator (DESFA) [...]
6.    Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (OLP) [...]
7.    Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A. (OLTH) [...]
8.    TRAINOSE S.A. & EESSTY S.A (ROSCO) TRAINOSE provides technical transport services for rail transport of passengers and goods. […]
9.    International Athens airport S.A. (AIA) [...]
10.    Poseidi Calkidiki, promotion of tourism [...]
11.    Equestrian centre in Markopoulo [...]
12.    Electronic auctions II, III, IV [...]
13.    Marinas, Marina Alimos and the remaining tourist ports in the portfolio of the HRADF [...]
14.    Egnatia Motorway S.A. A 648 km long, fully developed toll highway in northern Greece, [...]
15.    Hellenic Petroleum S.A. [...] the leading company for oil refinery and distribution in Greece [...]
16.    OTE S.A. [...] the largest telecommunications provider on the Greek market [...]
17.    State-owned power producing utility (PPC) [...]
18.    Water and waste water utilities of Thessaloniki (EYATH) [...]
19.    Water and sewage utility of Athens (EYDAP) [...]
20.    Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) [...]
21.    Hellenic Post (ELTA) [...]
22.    Further real estate tenders: [...] Sale of land and buildings in Argos, Veria, Stylida, Lefalonia and on the island of Rhodes, Nafplio, Chalkidiki, Messinia and Athens. […]

(Kopie 1)

The objects of privatization are documented in the asset development plan of the HRADF.2What is expected of the people of Greece by the troika is shocking and outrageous: Greece was devastated during the Second World War by German troops and subsequently trampled on by Britain and the United States – even up to a military coup. Until today, the official Germany refuses to recognise the massacre of the population in the village of Distomo as a war crime against humanity. Argyris Sfountouris, who survived the massacre as an infant due to the humaneness of a single German soldier, appealed to the German Embassy in Athens in 1994 with the question of whether compensation will be provided to the surviving victims of Distomo. In the negative response of the German Embassy there is neither an apology nor empathy or regret. It is stated: “according to the Federal Government the reprisals against the village of Distomo are not defined as NS Act [...] as the measure was taken in the context of warfare, as a reaction on partisan attacks.”3 This false view of the Embassy is refuted by Sfountouris in his new book “Trauer um Deutschland” (Mourning for Germany) in detail: in Distomo, a crime against humanity was committed.Given this historical background, a different attitude towards the Greek people would be appropriate. So, a friend from Germany spontaneously commented on the privatisation of the Greek national wealth as follows: “it is a shame what is being done here. I wish the ground would open and swallow me up.”What lesson should the European states learn from the tragedy of Greece? Debt can result in debt bondage and loss of state sovereignty. This also applies to us in Switzerland.     •

1     John Perkins. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The shoking inside story of how Amerika REALLY took over the world. 200, ISBN 0-452-28708-1
2     Hellenic Republic asset development fund, asset development plan, 30 July 2015, internal working translation (Spr.-D BMF).-No. 0818-2015, Internet access 11.9.2015
3     Letter of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Athens by 23 January 1995, reprinted in: Argyris Sfountouris. “Trauer um Deutschland” (Mourning for Germany). Speeches and essays of a survivor, Würzburg 2015, p. 87 ISBN 978-3-8260-5821-9

Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, on these holiday islands FRAPORT will operate airports in the future.

Overall, the investor from Frankfurt will take over 14 regional airports in Greece, develop them further and of course make money with them. Manolis Kalimakis heads the trade union of the airport employees of Greece. He can’t understand at all that the Greek government wants to sell these airports to a foreign investor. “This is our silverware,” Manolis Kalimakis says. “These airports are our best airports. These are the airports that provide us with the highest revenue. And these revenues support our economy.” If these airports will be privatized  now, Greece will lose these revenues. “I don’t understand the mentality behind it. To support our economy, our European friends have decided that we will no longer have these revenues. I don’t know how that should help us.” Manolis Kalimakis calculates: “In forty years, we would be able to earn 16 billion euro with these airports, but we sell them for two to three billion. We would earn so much more money over the forty years to invest in the airports. Moreover, money would be left to the public to pay the debt.” Manolis Kalimakis as a union member sees nothing but drawbacks  in this privatisation. He fears the investor would lay off workers and increase fares, under the line the entire tourism would suffer. […] Manolis Kalimakis from the Union wants to keep fighting. “We, the workers, will try everything possible to stop the deal!” he warns. But even the Greek left party SYRIZA has given up its resistance against the privatisation. No matter who wins the general election in Greece on Sunday next week, Fraport will be allowed to take the 14 Greek airports over.

Source: “Deutschlandfunk”. Information in the morning. Thomas Bormann. “Fight over privatisation in Greece: resistance against Fraport”. 10.9.2015