By Pete Papaherakles
|An oilrig off the coast of Cyprus pumps crude. Could|
this vast oilfield, part of which Greece holds a claim
upon, be the prize for the Western bankers to whom
Greece now owes a king’s ransom?
As events continue to unfold in the European
economic crisis, it is becoming clear
a much bigger game is being played when
it comes to Greece. The real game there is
about who controls themassive oil and gas reserves
located just off the Hellenic coast.
Carefully kept under wraps for
decades has been knowledge of the
existence of a huge oil and natural
gas field in the eastern Mediterranean,
in the area between the islands
of Crete, Cyprus and Rhodes.
Some people contend that an invasion
by the Turks and the partitioning
of Cyprus in 1974 were
directly related to these oilfields and their future exploitation.
It is estimated that they can supply energy
to Europe for 50 years and are valued in the
neighborhood of $9 to $12 trillion.
Russia has shown much interest in a partnership
with Greece to drill for these resources, as have Norway
and other countries. Currently, Israel hasmoved
in and seems to be the most likely candidate to be
Greece’s partner in the endeavor.
Could these vital oil reserves and the way in
which Israel is vying for control of them be the real
reason why Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin
was denied a visa when he tried to visitMount Athos
in Greece during the holy week of Orthodox Easter?
The Kremlin expressed its strong dissatisfaction
with the Greek government’s decision, for this visit
would have been Putin’s first to a foreign country
since winning the presidency. Greece gave the excuse
that the country would be on holiday at that
time and it could not provide security for Putin.
Mount Athos is an autonomous
region with 22 Orthodox monasteries,
including Romanian, Serbian
and Russian holy sites. Putin was to
visit Abbot Ephraim, who was recently
released froma controversial
prison detainment. Abbot Ephraim
and Putin seem to share a spiritual
relationship, as Putin is known to
be a devout Orthodox Christian.
Orthodoxy, in fact, ismaking a huge comeback in
Russia after 70 years of Communist atheism. Putin
has been active in re-establishing the religious, cultural
and economic relations that bind Eastern Europe
together. He has made many attempts to
develop closer ties with Greece.
On March 26 an advertising campaign by the
Russian government was launched across the country
urging Russians to buymore Greek products and
vacation in Greece.With a population of 143 million
in Russia, compared to only 9 million Greeks, this
could have a crucial impact on Greece’s economy.
Russia also offered to bail out Greece as the country
was falling into the clutches of the Western
banks. Putin offered to lend Greece at least $25 billion
at 1 percent interest. However, the Papandreou
government opted for $148 billion fromthe IMF and
the European banks at a whopping 5.2 percent and
the austerity measures that came with the deal.
Russia has also been kept away in other oil partnerships
with Greece. Since 1994 a deal had been in
the works for Russia to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis
pipeline bringing Russian oil from the
Black Sea through Bulgaria and into the port of
Alexandroupolis in northern Greece. That deal was
finalized in 2008 during the government of Kostas
Karamanlis, and work was to commence shortly afterward.
An attempt to assassinate himwasmade in
2008. In the fall of 2009, Karamanlis was forced to
call for early elections,where he lost to the pro-Zionist
George Papandreou. Shortly thereafter, the
pipeline project was terminated.
Many are wondering why Greece did not accept
the bailout offered by Putin or another by China,
which would have enabled the Greeks to maintain
their sovereignty and avoid the pain, humiliation and
loss of assets the debt crisis has brought them.