The ELIAMEP foundation is to be held accountable, along with other establishments, not only for leaving Greece defenseless and failing to warn it time about the Turkish threat, but also for constantly rehashing the positions of Turkey, which practically means that they openly side with the Turkish aggressors.

“Interestingly enough, about 10% of ELIAMEP’s revenue comes from various Embassies (including those of Germany, England and Spain)”.

Read the eye-opening article published on

By Dr. Prodromos Emfietzoglou *

ELIAMEP – Hellenic Foundation for Defence and Foreign Policy – was founded in 1988 with the aim, as its name suggests, of “promoting research and dialogue on foreign policy and security issues, with a focus in Greece’s wider neighbourhood”.

A few years later, in 1993, ELIAMEP was renamed the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. That is, it transformed from a Hellenic Foundation into a mainly European foundation. Surprisingly though, it opted to retain its already established acronym!

During its first steps, I had positive views of ELIAMEP’s activities and even financed one of its organized events. I also praised the foundation’s views on Kosovo and in a meeting with the US Ambassador and Mr. Veremis I emphasized that I agree with the latter’s views and advised the Ambassador to pay special attention to them.

Later, in a meeting with Mr. Veremis and Mr. Couloumbis at my company’s office, my assistance was sought in finding or allocating spaces for the housing of the Foundation’s offices. This was followed by an exchange of views on Greek Foreign Policy and especially on Greek-Turkish relations.

I realized that they pursued a compromise policy with Turkey, despite the multitude of mistakes which, as it seems, had taught them no lessons. I stressed to them that I strongly disagreed and that compromising with the Turks leads to nothing, except to them raising new demands and possibly to new concessions.

For years I kept track of the progress and the activities of ELIAMEP, while disagreeing with its views, and what impressed me the most was the acceptance of its positions by a significant number of politicians, entrepreneurs and journalists. In fact, during the ”Simitis era” the views of ELIAMEP and Prime Minister Simitis were remarkably similar, if not identical.

In its initial stages, ELIAMEP was financed by the Greek State; Now, its income mainly comes from EU Programs, although it is not specified whether these are Greek Programs funded by the EU or programs managed directly by the EU.

Interestingly enough, about 10% of its revenue comes from various Embassies (including those of Germany, England, and Spain). And thus, a reasonable question arises: If an establishment is funded by an embassy, can it be completely impartial towards the country that the said embassy represents, or is it, even subconsciously, influenced, and thus becomes less likely to denounce the country’s wrongdoings?

Likewise, questions arise from ELIAMEP’s cooperation with the Bilgi University of Turkey. Under normal circumstances, this cooperation would be perfectly normal, but given the current situation with Turkey, there is definitely room for doubt.

A great example of ELIAMEP’s recent views on Greek-Turkish relations is the article written by ELIAMEP’s president, Mr. Tsoukalis, for “TA NEA” newspaper, with the title “Minefield”, where he indirectly poses the question “Twelve miles of territorial sea in the Aegean and war?”

What is the difference between this question and the Turkish casus belli?

So, Mr. Tsoukalis, are you urging us to give in to the Turkish blackmail?

And if so, how many miles exactly should we concede to them?

3, 4 miles, or maybe should we only keep 6 and also reduce our airspace from 10 to 6 miles?

And then, if our “Turkish friends” demand the demilitarization of our islands on the Eastern Front, will you also ask: “Demilitarization and/or war?”

Are you telling us, in an indirect derogatory manner, not to exercise our sovereign rights under the psychological fear of a possible war?

However, I will not leave your question unanswered: Twelve nautical miles and no war. Our powerful armed forces, capable of defeating them, will leave them no room for war, not even for the slightest nudging incident. Thus, there will be no need for your “Greek Patent” (10 nm in the air – 6 nm in the sea), Mr. Tsoukalis. Twelve nautical miles everywhere and… the patent says goodbye!

Mr. Tsoukalis also claims that if we extend our territorial waters, then we will violate the Navigation of the neighboring country. Which is identical to the Turkish argument! Actually, we can observe that the positions of Mr. Tsoukalis and the arguments of Turkey are strikingly similar and, unfortunately, many foreigners as well as Greeks seem to blindly accept them both.

But let us take a look at the attached map, showing the two main navigation lines in the Aegean, namely the western line, from the Hellespont to the Ionian Sea, and the eastern line, from the Hellespont to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The western line crosses through the straits of Evia – Andros, Kea – Makronisos and Kythira – Elafonisos, and the eastern line passes between Psara – Chios and Amorgos – Kinaros. The distances are shown in the attached table. All of them are shorter than 12 nautical miles, which means that they are indeed territorial waters. In fact, the distance between Kythira and Elafonisos is only 4.5 nm.

And so I ask the Turks, but also Mr. Tsoukalis:

Has there ever been a problem concerning Turkey’s Navigation, has the Greek Government ever blocked or obstructed passing ships? On the contrary, the -always submissive- governments of Greece tolerated and never obstructed ships and submarines of the Turkish Navy, which passed through without even bothering to fulfill the obligations of “innocent passage”.

So, what is the argument of Turkey, which is blithely adopted by the president of ELIAMEP?

What argument could impede us from exercising OUR SOVEREIGN RIGHT, according to the UNCLOS and our STATE LAW, which allows the extension of our territorial waters to 12 n.m.?

Foreign ships will continue to pass freely when we extend our territorial waters to 12 nm, as they do now, because our country always supports and keeps Navigation free. It is other countries that violate it. After all, Russia, which has a special interest in free navigation in the Aegean, stated that it has absolutely no objection to our sovereign right to expand our territorial waters.

I am deeply disappointed by ELIAMEP’s total submission to the Turkish demands. However, those demands are also putting our Nation in peril, since they insidiously undermine the morale of the Greek people, by creating doubts, so that painful concessions to the detriment of our Homeland can be more easily accepted.

Enough with the lost homelands.

*Dr. Prodromos Emfietzoglou is president of the Group of Engineering Companies Board of Directors