"However, the intruders didn't quite make it to murdering the PM. They did, however, keep a close eye on him."
"In that very secret document an episode is described, when Russian spies met with the conspirators face-to-face."
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Last Monday the main Russian TV news channel, Vesti, ran a sensational investigative piece on the main evening news alleging that back in 2009 Russian Intelligence uncovered a plot by the CIA to remove then prime minister Kostas Karmamanlis from office, and assassinate him if necessary, for his support of Russia, in particular the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe.
Part of the plot involved orchestrating street violence by infiltrating political parties - color revolution tactics.
The story could be straight out of an episode from 'Homeland' - here is the full transcript to the segment. The video is captioned in English:
"A Conspiracy in Athens - a political thriller, a sensation, a plot worthy of John Le Carre or Ian Fleming.
A story, almost missed by the media. But the story is fascinating, with unexpected plot twists.
It's definitely a detective story, but the detective isn't from Hollywood, or Britain, or even Scandinavia.
This story has been taking place in Greece.
The news about the US secret services tapping our phones and following numerous political leaders, even if they are leaders of a country or a government, doesn't surprise anyone anymore.
Let's remember Angela Merkel and the plans for removal. It was supposed to be a physical removal, on the territory of EU.
You don't come across it very often. This is already a new chapter.
This story begins in 2008, or maybe even before that. The Prime Minister of Greece is Kostas Karamanlis.
He's right-wing, conservative, New Democracy member. Like all the other Greek PMs, he faces many difficulties in economics, and with the tireless opposition.
Karamanlis takes the reform course, fights unemployment.
In his foreign policy, he tries to get closer to Russia, in several key directions at once. From increasing trade volumes, to purchasing arms.
Karamanlis called Vladimir Putin his friend, and Moscow was his strategic partner. But the main energy - Karamanlis supported Greece's participation in the Burgas–Alexandroupoli pipeline, and the South Stream. This was a gas pipeline to deliver Russian oil and gas to Southern and Central Europe.
For the Greeks, both projects were supposed to be lucrative.
Agreements between the governments were signed. Kostas Karamanlis couldn't have known that because of these meetings and negotiations, not deals, certain forces in Greece and beyond would start an intricate plan to disrupt the projects.
From the standard destabilization situation in the country to the change of the political course, and liquidating the main goal. This means Karamanlis himself.
This became famous from numerous Greek press articles. Journalists got their hands on bits and pieces of information.
And now, it's possible to try to put together the whole picture, to put this elaborate puzzle together.
If we are to believe what's been published, the plan was called Pythia-1.
Pythia, as we know from ancient Greek history, was a High Priestess Oracle, whom the rulers listened to before making important decisions.
This plan was to be executed by some foreign agents, deployed in Greece.
Nobody knows what countries they came from. But it's a known fact that they had allies among the Greeks. This includes the Army, authorities, and deputies.
This was a well-prepared, well-organized group, which had been following the Greek leader. It looks like they were preparing his assassination. But how did the Greeks learn about it?
If you believe the Greek press, they learned it from the Russians. The Greek National Intelligence Service received a tip from the FSB (the successor organization to the KGB).
Based on this data, a top-secret document is created. In spite of being classified, it gets to the press and becomes the base for publications, but also for a court case investigation.
But how did the FSB learn about the conspiracy against Karamanlis?
The media materials state that the Russian special services got interested in this story after certain foreign agents' attempts to tap the phones of Kostas Karamanlis, of Georgi Parvanov, the former Bulgarian President, and of Vladimir Putin.
In these conversations, they spoke about gas pipelines, and oil and gas supplies.
In the West, someone really didn't want the Burgas-Alexandroupoli and the South Stream projects to be realized.
It's hard to believe, but putting an entire country into chaos is still a great option.
To figure out the scale of the conspiracy and to determine its members, and to prevent it from happening, the FSB sent an investigative group to Greece.
We remind you, all of this comes from the Greek special forces classified information that got into the press.
Intel services have determined, that in Greece, within the anti-government conspiracy, at least 7 terrorist groups were involved.
Out of them, 3 specialized in theft and kidnapping. They robbed and kidnapped large-scale businessmen.
All this was done to create the atmosphere of chaos and fear on the streets and in business. That's what destabilization means.
Four more groups were responsible for organizing street chaos. 2008 was the year of constant confrontations in Greek towns. Between the police and various protesters.
The chaos supposedly started after the policemen killed a teenager.
Protests were full of students and angry civilians.
There were also people who simply enjoyed such movements.
Among them were these people with black masks. Extreme left wing militants-anarchists. Nobody knows who they are.
It's another question who controls them. Especially considering the fact that foreign intruders made matters worse in the streets.
Mass chaos in Athens and other cities, as well as the increase in economic and social tension really weakened the positions of the Karamanlis government.
However, the intruders didn't quite make it to murdering the PM. They did, however, keep a close eye on him.
In that very secret document an episode is described, when Russian spies met with the conspirators face-to-face.
It supposedly happened in April 2008, around Nea Makri in Attica, after a hold up on the road to the St. Ephraim Monastery.
Supposedly the attention of PM guards and the Russian spies was caught by a strange minivan.
People inside of it left after the incident on a moped without license plates.
Inside the minivan, they found an arsenal of weapons, including explosives, Kalashnikov rifles, communication tools, night vision equipment, detailed maps with the PM's itinerary, and detailed information on his bodyguards.
Who knows what would've happened to Karamanlis and the entire Greece, if it weren't for the incident by the stop light. Weapons and maps were taken as evidence.
The Attorney General's office began an investigation. And after several years, the case made it to court.
All conspiracy members' names are kept in secret. All in the investigation's interests.
We only know a few names. William Basil, a former CIA agent.
He's lived and worked in Greece since the mid 1990s. He's considered the best in monitoring and phone-tapping.
A warrant for his arrest was issued in 2015. But Basil had time to run.
It's a known fact, that tapping Karamanlis was done from the phones he personally bought.
He also used SIM cards, registered in Athens under the US Embassy.
Former Greek Parliamentary, Michalis Karchimakis, is accused of treason and divulgence of state secrets.
He was in the PASOK party. He was an ally of George Papandreou. He is Karamanlis' political enemy, a socialist.
Among other accused parties are two former Greek special services agents.
They are also accused of treason and divulgence of state secrets about National Security.
Considering the leaked data from the Intel services to the press, which mentioned about 20 political figures, we know that these 4 people are just the tip of the iceberg.
Kostas Karamanlis is alive, but he had to retire.
He lost the snap elections in October 2009. He was forced to run by the non-stopping street protests and an overall tense atmosphere.
Eventually, Greece slowly exited the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline and the South Stream pipeline. They decided not to buy Russian military equipment.
Even though their relationship with Russia is still warm, stable, and good, but the PMs, who replaced Karamanlis, didn't speak of a strategic partnership.
Let's remember the correspondence between US diplomats from WikiLeaks.
Kostas Karamanlis' foreign political course made them very unhappy for a long time.
They made a lot of efforts to start digging under him.
However, this wasn't only about his relationship with Russia, but a whole series of topics, troubling for the US - Greeks not recognizing Kosovo, vetoing Macedonia to enter NATO, because of the name of the country, the Cyprus dispute.
The US tone is very irritated and arrogant. What's happening? Greece is going into a strategic partnership with Russia? We're confused!
Anyway, the mystery novel continues.
The investigation of the Pythia-1 conspiracy is taken by Greeks seriously.
There will probably be new details and new suspects.
We'll keep you posted."
End of transcript.
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