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Will April 8 be Greece’s date with destiny or the final nail in its EU debt slave coffin?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is headed to Russia April 8 to meet President Putin. With Russia and China emerging as an alternative to US-World Bank economics, the safe bet could be on a Russo-Greco bridge.

Alex Christoforou




Post originally appeared on Russia Insider.

Greece’s Industrial Reform Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Syriza MP Thanasis Petrakos were in Moscow the last two days laying the groundwork for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ meet with Vladimir Putin. As a squirming cauldron of edgy bankers, politicians, and generals west of the Bosporus look on with prescience at the prospects, Russia and China have a singular opportunity. As a caveat, Petrakos told Spiegel Online and other media:

“This visit is very important for Greece. We intend to deepen our relationship with Russia in the energy sector and thereby hope to gain a significant advantage.”

A couple of weeks ago I reported on Tsipras’ acceleration of his meetup with Putin. With talks in Berlin and with Brussels upcoming, the Greek Prime Minister set out to play his country’s economic hand with the cards he had been dealt. Holding a Russo-Greco deal over the bankers’ heads, this was not genius, only deal-making 101. The follow up report the other day asking if Brussels had “warmed” to Tsipras’ ideas of debt consolidation spoke of potential cooperation between Greece and Russia in terms of commodities like gold, and “collateral” to ensure Russia’s “yield” on any deal would be guaranteed. What I did not speak of was long term gain for Russia, and all her investment interests, should Athens cement relations with Moscow. Here are some keen observations for predictive measures on the coming meetup.

To glimpse these other possibilities, a short lesson in geostrategy may be in order. Greece occupies a supremely strategic location in the eastern Mediterranean. The country’s control over the Aegean Sea, and the subsequent control of sea lanes in between Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, as well as islands close to Syria and to shipping lanes coming out of Egypt’s Suez Canal, make her crucial to any NATO or regional defense strategy. Added to this, the Aegean Sea is estimated to hold over four billion barrels of oil, not to mention key potential in other sectors. To fully understand this, a brief geography and politics reminded is necessary.


Hellenic Air Force F16’s sortie – Greece spends billions on western weapons

Nixon Doctrine Backfire

In the centuries old game of European geostrategic maneuvering Greece and Russia have a special value. For the former, the theories of General Karl Haushofer and a new model of German lebensraum bear out Frau Angela Merkel’s Greece bailout dilemma in the coming weeks. As for Russia, at least in the case of Greece today, Alfred Thayer Mahan’s “The Problem of Asia” writings seem to be coming to fruition. For the sake of simplification, the United States, Germany, and especially NATO need Greece firmly in their grasp. Nay I’ll content here, the so-called western nations, will be in an untenable situation without the Greeks. That is, if some form of continued American-British hegemony is desirable. You see Mahan conceived of strategy before 1900 aimed at denying Russia commerce and emergence. His further theories also described “balancing” the Russia “threat” by creating a “force” in Turkey, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to further prevent Russian expansion.

As we can easily see today, the “force” being exerted in 2015 is conflict and chaos. Truth be told, what we are witnessing is a backfire of a doctrine dreamed up by none other than Dr. Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, and the man you see defended by Senator John McCain in Senate hearings. It was Kissinger and Nixon who planned the realignment of power in the modern world, setting Russia and China against one another. His theories were later continued and expanded by Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom we see advising presidents continually since the Nixon years. Fast forward to today and a Russia benefiting from globalization, and the old game is not working so well any more. Unable to curtain Russia’s inevitable growth any longer, owing to the country’s vast untapped resources and emergent society, the NATO group have effectively lost (by their leaderships’ standards) the great Russophobic war. Now you’ve an admission ticket for what’s really set to happen in Moscow one month before the May 9th victory in WWII celebrations.


U.S. President Richard Nixon (left) and Henry Kissinger, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, at the White House.

On April 8th Greece is set to become the most valuable piece of real estate among NATO nations. The people there having suffered long because of corruption inside and outside their borders, they’ve nothing to lose, no love lost for Germany or her NATO companions. In fairness, Greeks adore no nation so much as their own. I expect Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping have already set their minds as to what the “offer” will be. Having already agreed to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on April 14, Russia will in all likelihood make Tsipras a deal he cannot refuse. Some combination of massive Chinese money investment, a Gazprom deal from Russia of equivalent value, and Greece will be back in the game sans NATO, the euro, and worries about defense spending.


Greece’s main battle tank – the German Leopard via Greek Military portal

A Case for Debt Do Over

Not many of the investors (except for Boeing, Raytheon, and others) who flocked to read the first of my stories (metrics tell me interest in Greece intense) are aware Greece spends more than all but one of the 27 NATO countries after the United States. By the way, the US,Germany, and France are the beneficiaries of Greece’s arms expenditures, so a chunk of the country’s current budget goes to defense contractors. No doubt news of this creates even more of an austerity sore for Greek taxpayers. Where the metal meets the meat in Moscow, I’d be dully surprised if Putin’s finance people did not advise Greece to take every advantage, then to default and return to the drachma, at which time Russia and China could easily escalate the currency buying into Greek endeavors. After all, the Obama administration’s easing off Goldman Sachs, when that firm’s involvement in the Greek crisis has yet to be resolved, leaves Tsipras’ situation as a “catch-as-catch-can ” choice.

After all is said and done, since when is cheating and defaulting on obligations a crime these days? Greece can earn €300 billion in one day, and another €300 billion in Gazprom gas, China capital, and Russian arms deals (Mr. Lavrov gives hints) to shortchange western manufacturers. Add in free flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg for the tourist season, and Greece could be the richest country in eastern Europe before summer’s end. Who could really blame the Greek people? American bankers double dipping, German arms dealers recouping revenue from EU bailouts, 30 percent unemployment and Germans here calling the Greeks “lazy” slackers? My only question is “when” will Portugal, Spain, and Italy tell Frankfurt and Washington to bugger off.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov spoke recently with Greece's FM - (The Ministry)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov spoke recently with Greece’s FM – (The Ministry)

In all seriousness, given the current situation in the United States, the UK, and in the EU debt wise, it seems clear “the west” cannot bid higher than China and Russia for Greece’s affections. The EU is in no position to either bail out Greece, or to contest Moscow in courting favor. The United States’ catastrophic foreign policy failures since 9/11, a debt bubble set to explode at home, and civil problems that would cripple any other country leave Washington scrambling to plug holes in the NATO alliance and the geostrategic limbo to come. The politicians in Washington not only have the world in a fix, but the American people are poised blindfolded on a fiscal cliff. David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Ronald Reagan, says America is so addicted to debt a catastrophe is imminent. Experts from real estate legend Donald Trump to best selling author Robert Wiedemer have predicted as recently as this month a “bust” somewhere in between catastrophic and total collapse for the US economy.

All these variables and more weigh on Greece’s leader, the chorus of EU principals, and Washington looking on as the Russo-Greek summit awaits in Moscow. I was reading just now a sentient piece about Greece being able to seize opportunity in these critical times. Ideas like a Greek-Cypriote doctrine of common defense, “The New Grand Strategy of Greece and its Mediterranean Geostrategic Imperatives” by Alexander Th. Drivas, emerge as a new construct for the Greek people. It seems pertinent right here to point out Greece is actually a good investment for Putin, or anybody for that matter. The chart below shows the situation with deposits still higher than before the hyper inflated years that led to the country’s crash. An infusion of business in Greece can surely fund full recovery, especially if the country changes currency and affiliations. I’m no economists, but I know Russia’s fiscal experts have not overlooked the potential.

Via Peter Tenebrarum's Acting Man Blog

Via Peter Tenebrarum’s Acting Man Blog

It is also no insignificant that Russian Foreign Minister mentioned at a recent meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias the Orthodox religious ties Russia and Greece share. To quote Lavrov:

“In 2016, there will be another important anniversary: 1,000 years of a Russian monastic presence on Mount Athos – commemorative events have been planned.”

The gist of his ideas, rumors, and real tangible business do support my theory as to Putin’s upcoming offers to help Greece become the regional power it once was too. Clearly the Greeks stand to gain a lot more outside the EU and NATO, than they ever did clinging to bad ideas turned disastrous. Expect a big play in the news April 9th.


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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”





Via RT

Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career



Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.


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