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More Excerpts from Studies in Greek Security, Volume II: 2012-2015

May 30, 2016

Balkanalysis.com editor’s note: the following excerpts offer just a glimpse into the rich selection of analyses and reports that comprise our new work, Studies in Greek Security, Volume II: 2012-2015. Available now on Amazon Kindle, this book is the successor volume to the previously published Studies in Greek Security: 2006-2011, both by Chris Deliso and Ioannis Michaletos. See also our first set of excerpts from the new publication.

Excerpt from Chapter 8: The Illegal Immigration Industry in Greece in 2015: a Strategic Overview

March 25, 2015

This pernicious reality involves two basic truths: the natural tendency for public institutions to expand if left unchecked; and the natural desire of the private sector towards maximal profit.

When united in any common purpose – in this case, a joint approach to dealing with illegal immigration in Greece – this involves a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary citizens, largely (but not only) in the developed world, to the institutions and companies involved. This involves both taxpayer money, and donations from philanthropic institutions that are tax-deductible.

While we have seen it is possible to make basic estimates of the amount of money generated by the human-trafficking gangs themselves, it is ironic to note that it is impossible to do the same regarding the total revenues generated for the completely legal and approved side of the industry, generated in response to the criminal one.

This is because of the sheer amount of entities involved, the complexity of their interactions, and the informal nature of much of the sub-industry. A complex EU or UN program designed to deal with some aspect of human trafficking might include the need for procurement of resources or materiel, for example. And this is a process that necessarily involves private-sector suppliers, and is enhanced by the additional factor of lobbyists needing to be paid.

Even harder to quantify are the revenues funneled to actors not expected to produce any tangible results, such as expert consultants, and other ‘ideas’ people and groups. More opaque still is the notoriously corrupt NGO and academic sectors, which invariably have political, ideological or business ties far and wide, providing a money laundering opportunity for both criminal elements and the ‘legitimate’ actors.

In the general industry of organized human trafficking in Greece, there is thus a perverse sort of symbiosis between not only the exploiters and the exploited, but fundamentally with the outside actors attempting to deal with the problem. And this is without even considering the financial gains made by political parties based on immigration stances. A perpetuation of the status quo thus remains in many people’s financial or ideological

Excerpt from Chapter 12: Under EU Presidency, Athens Hosts Key Space and Security Conference

June 22, 2014

Inevitably, such an event drew heavy interest from specialist private-sector firms wishing to do business with the EU. As one official present told Balkanalysis.com, “basically, they’re scouting out the policies that can be expected or guessed at for the upcoming Commission, after October- what bids might be on, and who to approach.”

In this aspect, the official noted, a good part of the corporate intelligence-gathering was inferring which Brussels officials might keep their current positions or who might take their places.

Thus prominently speaking or taking notes were executives from companies like Airbus Defense and Space, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and HELLASAT, the Greek-Cyprus operator whose satellite is nearing the end of its 15-year lifespan.

Along with upgrades and technical developments to take note of, the private sector’s interest in space technology seem to be product-oriented and risk-associated. For example, one of the most interesting subjects discussed with application not only for military or security use was that of future generations of high-resolution satellite imagery. New risks and threats to satellite operations was another important subject to the private sector audience that was assessed as, for example, with the issue of violent space weather and its impact on SATCOM.

Excerpt from Chapter 23: Turkish Intelligence Sabotage Allegations Affect Relations with Greece

January 2, 2012

After the revelations, an emergency inquiry was requested by Greek Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes on December 27, 2011. The Greek foreign ministry issued a protest note, demanding an explanation. The foreign minister, Stavros Dimas and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, spoke on the phone and resolved to meet to discuss the issue early in 2012.

Despite the denial from Yilmaz, former Greek officials also seconded the story. The former head of the NIS, Leonidas Vasilikopoulos was reported to have said intelligence existed “that Turkish agencies were involved in the arsons in the 1990s but had no proof.” According to the Journal of Turkish Weekly, Vasilikopoulos also said Greece “should be cautious about the reasons for Mesut Yılmaz’s statements.”

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