By Dimitris Bekiaris

The statement of the Greek Minister for Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis, that the right of our country to extend its territorial sea to 12 nautical miles constitutes an act of “nationalism”, a statement which has already caused strong reactions and turmoil within the government and for which Chrisochoidis was heavily criticized by Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, was not just an “unfortunate” moment. This unprecedented statement was not accidental.

Instead, the Minister read the statement – as can be easily seen in the relevant video – from the papers he was holding in his hands. He may have omitted to read the Memorandum before voting for it in the past, but this time he definitely pre-read his statement, since someone wrote it for him and he had approved it beforehand.

Therefore, anyone can easily realize that this statement was not a product of chance. Rather, it was premeditated and it was made consciously. And, certainly, there is something hiding behind this statement, about which the Greek government must give answers.

If we take into account the surprise of Panagiotis Pikrammenos for what took place in the Greek parliament, then, supposedly and based on facts, the Maximos Mansion did not have the faintest idea about Chrisochoidis’s initiatives. The question arises: Did Michalis Chrisochoidis actually show initiative or did he carry out the orders of a “system” which he is interconnected with and which plays a shady role in the exercise of foreign policy, having specific dangerous anti-national positions, especially regarding Greek-Turkish relations? (Read more HERE)

Let’s be honest. This “system” is well-known – it is ELIAMEP or, as we prefer to write it, the “Papahelas system”. It is a circle of people who, if one investigates the role they play over the years, appear to be a “domestic ministry of neo-Ottomanism” whose objective is to turn Greece into a satellite of the “regional power” Turkey.

The potential of this system to intervene in the formulation of foreign policy and the exercise of Greek diplomacy was confirmed once again recently, when the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, appointed Thanos Dokos of ELIAMEP, a controversial person who recently advocated co-exploitation (with Turkey) in the Aegean Sea, to the position of National Security Adviser.

In light of the recent tensions in Greek-Turkish relations and the escalation of Turkish aggression in the eastern Mediterranean Basin, this move by the Prime Minister raised serious questions and, of course, caused strong reactions.

At the same time, rumors are circulating and all information converges on the fact that the managing editor of the “Kathimerini” newspaper, Alexis Papahelas, who also plays a key role in the operation of ELIAMEP, appears to be very active in the background; so active, that some people claim that there is a chance to see him in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the near future ( even as soon as in the next cabinet reshuffle.) Our own information refutes such a prospect in the career of Alexis Papahelas – who was on the cusp of taking office in Maximos Mansion before the 2019 elections – but in politics no one can be sure about anything.

But what does Michalis Chrisochoidis have to do with all this? The Minister for Citizen Protection is one of the long-time “protégés” of the “Papahelas system”. There are two key points in this common path: the disbandment of “17 November” and the relationship forged at the beginning of the past decade through the “Os Edo” initiative and, of course, the network of relations and connections with the US Embassy in Athens.

It is said that Alexis Papahelas played a key role in helping Michalis Chrisochoidis take over a ministerial portfolio in the Mitsotakis government.

Well-informed sources claim that the aforementioned statement of Michalis Chrysochoidis was made at the suggestion of Alexis Papahelas. They allege that Alexis Papahelas suggested that this shameful reference be included in the statements of the Minister for Citizen Protection.

We do not endorse these claims and rumors that have been circulating in the last few days. Nevertheless, we have an obligation and journalistic duty to ask: Mr. Chrisochoidis, did you make this shameful statement at the suggestion of Mr. Papahelas?