NEW SCANDAL - SYRIZA Targets Venizelos in Defence Systems Contract Fiasco

Evangelos Venizelos, Minister for National Def...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  Our Blog has never politically supported SYRIZA, but today we applaud them for their proposal to set up a parliamentary committee that will probe the shady submarine deals that were made under the PASOK governments (specifically to probe into the contracts that were signed by Evangelos Venizelos and George Papakostantinou). The proposal concerns the revision of Neptune II submarine contracts, which were signed in September 2010 and concerned the purchase of two additional submarines Type 214 class PAPANIKOLIS -even though Greece had yet to receive at least one submarine from the four already ordered-.

This is a huge scandal -which directly slams the "heart" PASOK- and has in the pat been featured on HellasFrappe. Thankfully SYRIZA opened the case again, because it was unfortunately it was buried by our political leadership over the past two years.

It should be reiterated that until now 132 million Euros has been given for two additional submarines, and Greece has not even received a nut a bolt yet!

It looks like SYRIZA has done its homework well, and has identified the main points of the scandal which the military news site defencenet had featured two years ago.

The following six charges -and/or questions- have been raised by the main opposition SYRIZA party (and they do indeed raise some eyebrows about the contracts signed by Evangelos Venizelos and George Papakostantinou):

1. How much were the letters of guarantee -from German banks- that both Evangelos Venizelos and George Papakonstantinou returned following the enactment of Law 3885/2010? What is the total amount in the letters of guarantee that are now in the hands of the Greek government and that call for the implementation of this program?

2. What is the share capital worth of Mr. Iskandar Safa's company which Evangelos Venizelos transferred to the Skaramanga Shipyards? Is this amount enough to secure the requirements set forth by the Greek State?

3. What is the credit value of the offsets that were owned by the Germans of HDW and that were easily deleted by Evangelos Venizelos after endorsing the enactment of Law 3885/2010? What is the credit value of the offsets that were received in return?

4. How does Venizelos explain the fact that the "investor" (Mr. Iskandar Safa ) never invested a single (1) Euro in equipment and/or expertise, but he somehow received over 400 million Euros, and the ENAE company a further 2 billion, from the George Papandreou administration for submarines that were later abandoned and left unattended to?

5. Can Venizelos talk about the front payments, that (quite suspiciously) do not involve the progress of work, but were nonetheless paid to a company that never provided any satisfactory guarantees that it would maintain the partnerships that were needed to complete the project active?

6. Can Venizelos explain how the contract -which he himself signed and negotiated- allows this businessman to (now) claim that there is not enough ($$$) to complete the submarines? (source - (defencenet)

The New Democracy on its part is also distancing itself from the whole issue. Following the proposal from SYRIZA, National Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos left it to be understood that he is not going to cover-up and/or back up Venizelos on the issue of revising the Neptune II contracts (which as we said earlier call for the modernization of the Type 209/1200 ton submarines which were replaced via the supply of two newer submarines Type 214 class PAPANIKOLIS.

He also left it to be understood that past "sinful procurement contracts and offsets that functioned as a conduit suspicious payments" existed, and when analyzing the revision contract he said that "the contract in 2010 attempted to put an end to them."

There is a huge difference between the phrase "attempted to" and "putting an end to" ... Isn't there?

Luckily the New Democracy party never placed its signature on this fiasco-law, unlike the LAOS party of Mr. Flip-Flop (Kolotoumba) himself George Karatzaferis, who we all know was very, very, VERY close to PASOK. Avramopoulos noted that the government of Antonis Samaras is not intimidated and/or afraid of allowing such a probing committee to be set up, because he noted the actions adopted by this government so far have been transparent and crystal clear. And then he said the extraordinary: If certain people had not worked "underwater" -or as we say underground- (with this issue) then there would be nothing to examine today.

He then torpedoed the contract signed by Venizelos by saying that "payments for submarines to the enactment of the law amounted to 2.33 billion Euros after the enactment - May 2011 - an additional 362 million paid (Meaning: The 132 million Euros concerned the submarines that WOULD be constructed, and Greece has yet -till this very day- to receive anything from these contracts, not even a small little nut and bolt).

    "When we (the New Democracy party) rose to power all payments were stopped. This issue was inherited. The state may continue, but governments do not have to".(defencent)
On his part SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that that there are "huge political responsibilities" (involved in this case) because in 2010 the contract did not allow Greece to ignore future payments.

It should be noted that the a crime against Greek taxpayers and the State is being acted out as we speak at the Greek shipyards. It screams out SCANDAL. The contract signed in 2010 by Papakonstantinou and Venizelos is an agreement that has to be examined well for its feasibility.

(Looks like Akis Tsochatzopoulos was not the only one that fiddled around with defence system contracts.)

Conclusion: SYRIZA is obviously raising the anti against the PASOK party and its leaer Evangelos Venizelos for all the obvious reasons. They hope to gain voters from the center Left. The surprise in this case is Dimtris Avramopoulos and his handling of the whole case. He made it perfectly clear that the New Democracy party is not going to cover-up the dirty dealings of Evangelos -The Large- again. And indeed this is a good development.

If we here at our Blog didn't know any better we would say that Avramopoulos raised a huge wall to Venizelos, who has been doing everything on his part to worm his way into the New Democracy party. Why would Venizelos do that? Good question. The answer is simple. PASOK is not even expected to make it into Parliament in the next national elections. In fact some polls have them averaging at about 2.9%.

Now some may be asking what business did Papakostantinou have with these contracts:

Well the Type 214 submarine scandal took on a whole new dimension, when the name Andrea Rossoni was discovered. Former Finance Minister George Papakostaninou and A.Rossoni are related (as discovered via the controversial  Lagarde list since the latter is married to Papakostantinou's relative).

So who is this mystery man (Mr. Rossonis)?

Rossoni is the man who apparently helped to take the Hellenic navy forward and who belongs to a group that promoted the revision of the Neptune II defense contract. He is a very successful defence systems dealer (middleman) who supplied parts for the armament programs of the Hellenic Navy. (And he did this through the law that was enacted by Evangelos Venizelos in September 2010 while amending the Convention Neptune II contract).

Because of Rossini's lobbying, the Germans who were apparently obligated to pay hundreds of million of Euros in dues, received a further order for two more submarines via Rossini's pal Iskandar Safa.

In other words, Greece had signed the Memorandum, and all contracts of this nature should have logiically been frozen, or at least placed on the back burner, but the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Company convinced Greek officials to accept two submarines so that the failed -and from what some describe scandalous- Neptune II program can close quickly. When this occurred G.Papakonstantinou approved an additional 500 million Euros which was then paid to the German company and to Iskandar Safa!

So from what it known until today Papakostantinou signed the transfer of the Skaramanga Shipyards to his friend A.Rossonis and to I.Safa.

From what has been presented so far Papakostantinou signed the transfer of the Skaramanga Shipyards to his friend A.Rossonis and to I.Safa.

Recap- Rossonis is a relative (implicated on the controversial Lagarde List). Coincidence? Or is it? Apparently not because a separate report on defencenet months ago had clearly stated that Papakonstantinou sent a message to Evangelos The Large telling him that he might of approved the disbursement amount and the transfer of shipyards, but in all reality it was him (Evangelos) who made the request and signed the law that allowed Safa to become a richer man, and at the same time left the Hellenic Navy without any submarines.

Believe it or not folks, he could be telling the truth. We never thought we would say that here on HellasFrappe, because we personally do not like this man, but Papakostantinou is not lying.

Here is the story behind the story: KruppThyssen is a straight company as far as one can tell. On December 8th, 2011 – following numerous graft charges being thrown at Ferrostaal by judges throughout Germany– Der Spiegel reported that Krupp was pulling out of MFI, effective immediately. The publication observed "ThyssenKrupp’s planned withdrawal is believed to be linked to a corruption scandal involving Ferrostaal. The Munich public prosecutor’s office has accused Ferrostaal of paying millions of euros in bribes to Greece related to the purchase of 214-class submarines."

The man in charge of the Defense portfolio in Greece at the time, or from 2009-2011, was none other than Evangelos Venizelos. The very same man who authored the law to make all Greek Government ministers immune from corruption prosecutions. Read more by clicking here -

So what is the moral of the story here? Well, Greek citizens have no clue as to how billions change hands and that is why they are often taken for a ride especially when it concerns defense system contracts. We are also powerless in how our leaders mishandle funds.

Seriously... in reading about this case in one of our previous posts we discovered that Greece was offered two free submarines for upgrading a contract, instead of modernizing another ongoing program but the government at the time opted to pay almost three quarters of a billion euros following the signatures of PASOK and LAOS!

(The cost of 209/1400 AIP was slightly lower, or about 70 million from the 214.)

The German "gifts",  (which were necessary because the upgrade to the Neptune II program of 209/1200 with AIP had failed on the OCEAN S118). The upgrading on the OCEAN never occurred, and this is one of the reasons that they keep on postponing the delivery since September 2009. The cost until the present moment has been calculated at some 500 million euros.  Read more by clicking here -

So is it a coincidence that the mainstream media is only pointing at Papakostainou for the mishandling of the Lagarde List... ?

Maybe not because we do not doubt his involvement, but we also think it was an opportunity to pin more things on him because some officials in PASOK do not have the dignity or manhood to take responsibility for their actions.

Venizelos is not a saint... we all know that. And aside from the ridiculous immunity law, one really has to question where he obtained all his wealth from. Back in November we featured a letter from Mr. Vaxevanis to Venizelos titled "“Politics without morality is the morality of tyrants”. If you want to read more about the links between Greek politicians (especially in PASOK) with some pretty shady companies then this would be a good place to start, we have given a plethora of information there. Also... you will get a rude awakening as to who Venizelos really is. Please click here to read the relevant article. -

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