NEW COMMISSION’S BIGGEST SCANDAL TO DATE
about the scandal that follows, the Editor-Christopher Story
is indebted to Christopher Booker, the
researcher and featured columnist in The Sunday Telegraph, London.
In the issue dated
24th April 2005, Mr Booker confirmed that the new
EC President, Sr. Jose Manuel
Barroso, before he took office last year, spent six
days aboard the yacht of Spiros Latis, one of the wealthiest and most
powerful businessmen in Greece.
All EC commissioners
have since jointly asserted that the President’s vocation trip
embraced no conflict of interest, despite the extensive involvement
of Mr Latis’ interests (which involve banking, petroleum, engineering and construction)
in the new Athens International
Airport which, estimated to cost £1.6 billion, is
the most expensive airport project to have been undertaken in
Europe. It was built by the German (no surprise) company Hochtief, with the assistance
of nearly £900 million
worth of EU taxpayers’ funds [YOUR
MONEY-don’t forget as we are one of the few net contributors
to the EU budget] plus finance from the EU’s London
based European Investment Bank (EIB).
In his report,
Christopher Booker stated that ‘although Hochtief and the Latis group are partners in
a series of projects in Greece, the chief spokesman
for the European Commission said in April that she was ‘not
aware that the group had benefited from EU funding’ (which
of course simply means what was said:
Not that the group did not benefit, but that
she was not aware that it had).
runs in parallel with ongoing controversy surrounding EC funding
at Spata, near Athens, a project in which the Latis group has
significant interests. Mr Booker, who had reported on this emerging
scandal as long ago as March 2004, elaborated:
For three years,
up to the highest level, the European Commission [i.e., the
Commission headed by Sig. Romano Prodi, as well as the present
Commission] has been refusing to answer a stream of questions
from MEP’s and journalists on how the contract to build and run Spata airport was awarded to
Although the German company contributed
only 133 million Euros (£90.8 million) to the 2.28billion Euro project, it now has the right to manage the airport for 30 years,
through a company of which, although it holds a 45% stake (the
remaining 55% being held by the Greek Government), Hochtief can nominate
a majority of the board and appoint Chief Executive.’
Now for the detailed
corruption information here. As
Christopher Booker’s report continued:
by Basil Coronakis, the Editor and owner of the Athens and Brussels-based
Europe showed that the subcontractors who carried
out the actual construction work on the airport did not receive
more than 320million Euros.
This is way below
the 2.28 billion Euros (£1.6 billion)
total cost stated by Coronakis since then, and which the Commission has persistently failed to answer,
How, in order to qualify to administer a contract representing
more than 2 billion Euros of public money, did a private,
profit-making company set up by Hochtief come to be designated
by the Commission as an “authority” in 1996, when the European
Commission rules make it clear that an “authority”, responsible
for monitoring that the money spent correctly, must be state-owned
or at least non-profit making? How could a recipient private
company ever be that “authority”?
How did the European
Investment bank come to lend 997 million Euros (£700 million) to the project, at a time when its total
cost was still being shown as 950 million Euros, and when EIB rules allow loans for only 50% of a project’s
[Easy! - As we
were all warned many-many
years ago that our so-called partners in the then disguised
United States of Europe have their own idea of what accounting
should be but many inexperienced minds this side of the channel
would not believe it. –Well! We’re sure they are slowly waking
up to the gigantic
confidence trick, which our own Nazi agent Edward
Heath and others had played on the British people for over 60 years.]
Why, in estimates
accepted by the Commission, was an amount of 416 million Euros (£290 million), shown as interest, added into the total twice?
[Double-counting, a familiar trick: see documentation elsewhere-Ed.]
What happened to the nearly 2billion Euros discrepancy between the
estimated actual construction cost, and
the final costs claimed?
We now re-enter very familiar territory:
In March 2003, three
MEP’s asked Romano Prodi,
then President of the EC, for an itemised cost
breakdown and for sight of the relevant invoices. In the following month, at the height of the Iraq war, Sig. Prodi responded that the European Court of Auditors was investigating the case.
In July 2003, a
senior EC official from the Directorate-General in charge of
the Cohesion Fund (DG-Regio) assured the three Members of the
European Parliament that the matter was now under investigation.
Nothing whatsoever has subsequently been heard
of these investigations, which are just ‘buying time’.
According to a Greek language version of the airport authority’s
annual report, Signor Prodi
attempted to ‘close
the Spata dossier’ ahead of handing over to the new
European Commission under Sr. Barroso, by calling a high-level meeting of the three EC
The meeting proposed that the Greek Government
should suffer a penalty of 12.7 million Euros, under various
technical headings notwithstanding that the Cohesion Fund rules stipulate that any penalty (whatever ‘compensation’
it was supposed to achieve in this case) must be paid by the
“authority”, not by a government.
This ‘proposal’ has likewise
vanished into the corruption/cover-up undergrowth.
When a new Government in Greece indicated, in
the autumn of 2004, that it was about to investigate the Spata
Airport contract, The
European Commission sent it a list of every EU-funded Greek
project other than Spata,
with the hint that if all these projects were investigated,
Athens would have to return the billions of Euros to the Commission.
It is creditworthy that the Greek Public prosecutor is
nevertheless investigating the Spata project.
The rest of the case, researched by
Confirms that the new Commission is just as
corrupt as its predecessor, and equally unresponsive to impertinent
questions from MEPs, dissident EC officials, and journalists. Indeed, the further details given in
The Sunday Telegraph’s
of the usual corrupt freemasonic relationships, organised criminal
relationships, or both (they are often interchangeable).
During April 2005, Sr. Barroso’s fellow Commissioners
endorsed, as indicated, his declaration that he was aware of
no conflicts of interest, while his spokesman stated that ‘as
far as she knew’ (which was of course –not
very far), Barroso’s host, Spiros Latis, had ‘no
business ties with the European Union’, HOWEVER:
Mr Latsis’ construction venture, Lamda, is in partnership
with Hochtief in connection with a series of huge, partly EU-funded,
Greek motorway projects being constructed across Greece, in
fulfilment of the pan-German plan to cover Europe with Autobahnen, originally set out in the Nazi document Europaische
Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft, published in Berlin in 1943, which
reappeared in the EU Collective Treaty as ‘Trans-European Networks’.
EFG Eurobank Ergasias, a large banking group controlled by Latsis family interests, held an exclusive contract to handle
all EU structural funds entering Greece, worth 28billion Euros
between 1999 and 2004, covering the period when Spata Airport
Hellenic Petroleum, the largest Greek oil company is allegedly extensively owned by Latsis’ commercial interests.
Latsis holds the contract for all fuel supplies to the airport, delivered via an
EU-financed pipeline constructed by a Latsis engineering firm.
- Latsis ALSO has a 50% stake in the contract for running most of the Spata
Airport’s ground-handling operations.
Sr.Barroso states that he and Latsis
met 30 years ago when they were students in Geneva. Meanwhile Mr Yannis Terezaki, a European Commission official working
in DG-Tren, the EC Directorate-General dealing with energy and
transport issues, is being given a hard time by both OLAF
the so-called Anti-Fraud Office and the Commission.
[Reminds one of the scene in
the Frederick Forsyth ‘s film
when the reporter enquiring about
a NAZI Criminal
still at large with the then head of the supposed German War
Crimes Office of which its team were active members of the Nazi movement
who was defensive about the keen questioning he was undergoing
and endeavoured to put the enquirer ‘in the dock’ instead.]
Terezakis having turned
whistleblower concerning various matters that bothered him,
he lodged a certain complaint as a private citizen.
When summoned to OLAF to answer questions, he refused, on the ground that his questions were specifically lodged in his capacity
as a private citizen.
says that ‘after further exchanges, Mr Terezakis
applied to the European
Court of Justice for his right under EU law to see
important documents on the Spata Airport project which
the EU Commission was withholding.
In April 2005, Mr Terezakis was summoned by the EU Commission’s Directorate-general
Administration (DG-Admin) to attend a disciplinary tribunal. He refused
to attend, on the ground that he was specifically not conducting
the case in question as an EC employee who can be silenced
for breaching the disciplinary rules (gag order)
The Spata Airport case can be described as hypersensitive –for
obvious reasons. The culture of
corruption starts-sorry, continues-at the very top.
WHAT OF THOSE OTHER EC WHISTLEBLOWERS
first EC whistleblower to become well-known
was of course
Who was in charge off the ERM-Exchange Rate Mechanism before crossing
swords with the ‘Stalinist’
ideologies in the Commission, and then being ‘relieved
of his responsibilities’?
Mr Connolly was certainly the most accomplished
expert in his field of European monetary affairs, of his day. His subsequent book
Heart of Europe: The Dirty War for Europe’s Money’ [Faber and Faber,
London and Boston, 1995] laid bare the hidden agendas, exposed
the serial skulduggery, and demolished the ridiculous economic
fallacies of the Eurocratic nomenklatura
tour de force which has been described as
‘a devastating account of the confidence trick played on Europe by the would-be
‘monetary masters of the world’
Whose project is now (see pages 3-12 Vol 30,4
International Review) in very serious and rapidly
accumulating difficulties-all of which were predicted in [International Currency Review- www.worldreports.org
and E-mail email@example.com]
and of course by Bernard Connolly himself.
[Details also on EDP bulletin board –under
The Rotten Heart of Europe]
condemned Economic and Monetary Union (ERM
as ‘threat not only to our prosperity but also to
our liberties and, ultimately, to our PEACE’, Mr
Connolly has since pursued a separate and successful
career in the City of London, but remains in demand as a
speaker and expert on the idiocies, deceits and errors of the
EC bureaucracy of which he was a prominent member.
Although not focused on EC corruption, his scathing debunking
of the EMU and his assessments of the damage it would inflict
upon EU economies, highlighted another, fundamental dimension
of the demented European madhouse.
Equally prominent is the distinguished former
EC civil servant, the Dutchman
Paul van Buitenen
Whose exposures (particularly of the EUROSTAT
scams [pages 118-125-Vol 30,4 International Currency Review] almost single-handed brought down the corrupt
Santer Commission in 1999 (although
its members simply remained corruptly en
place until the end of their term so that their pension
rights were not jeopardised).
Mr van Buitenen
later got the upper hand and reappeared in Brussels as an MEP,
where he continued to irritate the Commission with his annoying
questions and investigations into the EC’s
‘culture of corruption’
On 22nd April 2002, Mr Dougal Watt revealed that the European Court of Auditors, which is of course
supposed to be whiter than white, is tainted as well.
He became persona non grata with his corrupt superior,
but not with his colleagues, who largely supported his claims
about a fiddling Court member, and other instances of wrongdoing,
2003, The EC Whistleblower-Update
reported that as a consequence of Mr Watt’s revelations (although
this was never officially admitted) the European Anti-fraud
Office (OLAF) or [some will say (Oh!
Laugh!)] successfully contrived to ‘export’ dimensions
of the Court’s scandals by recommending to State Prosecutors
in Greece and Luxembourg that a former Court member [1999-2001],
one Mrs Kalliopi Nikolaou,
should face fraud charges.
OLAF also proposed that disciplinary procedures
be initiated against a former assistant to Mrs Nikolaou, now
an EC official, who was reportedly charged with defrauding the
Community budget of 28,000 Euros.
Instead of starting the disciplinary procedure, officials simply fired MR
Robert McCoy, the internal Auditor of the Committee of the Regions
– the EC abomination
that is attempting to make a single region out of parts of Southern
England and Northern France, for instance-claimed, at a COCOBU (European Parliamentary Committee on the Budget) meeting, that scams were taking place in connection with travel expenses
and the systematic absence of supporting documentation.
An MEP then presented
the case to OLAF, in July, President
Fabra Valles of the European Court of Auditors wrote
to President Bore [sic!] of the Committee of the Regions to
inform him that Mr McCoy’s allegations were without foundation
[in other words,
he made everything up-Ed].
OLAF then issued an interim report ostensibly contradicting these finding,
but also refrained from providing Mr McCoy with a copy of the
report, to which he was the main contributor.
OLAF, of course, never reveals, when, if at all, it will issue ‘final’ findings and recommendations
device which the structures have found to be perhaps the most
efficient mechanism they have yet been able to invent, for ensuring
that nothing is ever heard of complaint or scandal in question
Ms. Marta Andreasen, who was the EC’s Chief Accountant for five months before she was
suspended and later fired [see pages 113-115
Vol 30,4 ICR also details on
EDP bulletin board.] because she asked
too many awkward questions about payments that she was required
by the European Commission Directorate-General to countersign
and which she either considered prima
facie to be dubious, or concerning, which she required
further particulars, conceived initially the bold idea of applying
(in January 2003) for the published job of Director-General
This clever move naturally disturbed the complacent
European Commission’s collective equilibrium
Although the post
had to be filled by April 2003, EUROSTAT said it was assessing
the candidates and would let her know the result of her application
by may 2003, which did not happen.
July 2003, she wrote to the EC President and Vice-Presidents,
informing them that she had applied for the job.
Given the wall
to wall corruption in EUROSTAT and given that Ms. Andreasen
had a reputation of probity and professional rectitude, the
authorities could not have found a candidate better qualified
to root out EUROSTAT’s ‘institutional lootings’.
On 22nd July 2003,
the EC Personnel and Administrative Department wrote to Ms Andreasen
saying that on the 9th July-precisely one day before she wrote the aforementioned letter!!!
-the Commission had decided to cover the post by means of an
internal transfer of another Director-General, Michel Vanden
Behind the scenes,
the notorious M. Franchet was being ‘retired’; and it wouldn’t
have been ‘helpful’ would it, to have had the lady who had annoyed Commissioners by querying, some of their
dubious payments, nosing around amid the stinking debris of EUROSTAT’s corruption,
blatant money-laundering and self-enrichment arrangements. Marta Andreasen
is now engaged in an ongoing and as yet unresolved dispute with
& underlining used-comments in brackets]
* * *
For further details
of the massive corruption in the EU contact: International Currency