Is This Necrophilia?

I know what necrophilia means. But I think the word’s definition needs some rewriting especially, after reading DCNS’ intention to sell FREMM class frigates to Greece:

France wants to deliver two to four new frigates to the Greek navy and to allow the highly indebted nation to postpone payment of the €300 million ($412 million) purchase price per ship for the next five years.

 Under the deal, Greece will have the option of paying up after five years, with a significant discount of €100 million, or returning them to the French navy. The “stealth” frigates are designed to avoid detection by enemy radar and are built by state-owned French defense company DCNS.

Well the French consider themselves as good lovers and an authority on almost everything about l’amour. I didn’t know that this expertise also included loving of the dead. Well any way they are not alone in this business:

The [French] deal is being criticized by German rivals that have been competing for the contract for years.

In a letter to the German government, an executive from the ThyssenKrupp group complained that the vessel purchase will in effect be co-financed by German taxpayers because Greece, reliant on aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, may have to restructure its debts.

A Greek debt haircut is looking increasingly likely. If this happens and Greece is rescued again with funds from the European bailout mechanisms, Thyssen’s scenario would come true. German taxpayers would shoulder part of Greece’s government spending and thereby be forced to pay for a portion of the frigate purchase.

“While German naval shipyards aren’t getting any orders, DCNS and Greek shipyards are being subsidized and kept alive, probably with German money in the end,” the ThyssenKrupp executive said.

Uwe Beckmeyer, a member of parliament from the the center-left Social Democrats, says German jobs are at stake and called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to get French President Nicolas Sarkozy to abandon the ship sale. “The Chancellor must stop her friend Sarkozy,” said Beckmeyer.

So the Germans think they can beat the French in “love-making”. This is something I would like to see.

While France and Germany bicker about who is going to make love to the corpse, sell warships to Greece, this is the hard reality:

Greek unions began a 48-hour general strike on Wednesday, the biggest protest in years, as parliament prepares to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider euro zone.

The strike shut government departments, businesses, public services and even providers of everyday staples like shops and bakeries and will culminate in mass demonstrations outside parliament, which was the scene of violent clashes in June.

The industrial action comes as European Union leaders scramble to set the outlines of a new rescue package in time for a summit on Sunday that hopes to agree measures to protect the region’s financial system from a potential Greek debt default.

Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou made a final appeal for support late on Tuesday, comparing the situation facing Greece to a war and telling deputies in the ruling PASOK party that it was their duty to support the tough new measures.

MEKO Users Gathered In Athens. And Brazil Was Among Them

The repretantetives of navies, that operate warships based on MEKO (MEhrzweck KOmbination, or multipurpose combination) design concept, come together time to time. Known as the The MEKO User Workshop, this gathering provides a unique opportunity for the international community of MEKO users to network and exchange information and activities aimed at promoting a better understanding of the collective MEKO supportability and employment issues and activities being undertaken or planned by each of the nations operating the MEKO ships.

I think that this is a very clever idea for marketing the MEKO design concept from the former Blohm & Voss now TKMS. The idea was copied by the German Submarine Consortium as SubCon series of users conferences aimed for the navies that use Type 209 class submarines.

This years MEKO Users Workshop was held under the patronage of Greek Navy in Athens. This is the official statement as translated by Google:

Ref 114
Friday, October 7, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

From the Navy General Staff announced the completion of the work of the conference MEKO Users Workshop 2011 held from 3 to 7 October 2011 in Athens. The conference, held annually, made presentations and discussed technical and operational matters between the Navy, which have included in their power class Frigates MEKO t and defense industry. The conference was attended by representatives of the Navy from 9 countries (Greece, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand and Portugal)
At the conference, the Navy no longer competent Officers involvement in issues related to P / C sq. HYDRA, organized visits to the PNM J / K AVEROF in F / C SALAMIS and Administration Underwater Demolition, and made a presentation of opportunities and the role of the Centre for Maritime Interdiction Training (KENAP).

Commander Adamantios Christodoulou PN
Navy spokesman

There are two things that bother me here:
1) One of the major MEKO users Turkish Navy is not mentioned here. It is possible that given the current political tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Navy was not invited. Or Turkish Navy was indeed invited, but chose not to attend. That is understandable.
2) Brazil was not and is not a MEKO users. There is not one major warship in Brazilian Navy constructed by German shipyards. So why were they here?

Reduction In Greek Armed Forces?

Düyun-u Umumiye Building. Now used as a highschool. Photo: © Guillaume Piolle via Wikipedia.

This beautiful building in the old city of Istanbul was the head quarters of Düyun-u Umumiye-i Osmaniye Varidat-ı Muhassasa İdaresi, between 1897-1933.

The Düyun-u Umumiye can be translated into English as General Debts or General Obligations was an administration established to collect the tax on stamps, alcoholic drinks, fish hunting, salt, tobacco and silk in the Ottoman Empire. Theses taxes were used to pay the internal and external creditors of Ottoman Empire.

Approximately 150 years ago “Sick man of Europe” , the Ottoman Empire was in financial crisis and was highly in debt to a consortium of banks. Neither able to pay the interest or the actual debt Ottoman Empire lost most of its financial freedom with the foundation of the General Obligations Administration. The payments of the debts of Ottoman Empires continued after the foundation of Turkish Republic and ended only in 1954.

I have told the story of the Düyun-u Umumiye simply because if a nations loses its financial independence, it loses pretty much everything.

According to Greek blog defencegreece.com IMF, EU and ECB want radical cuts in Greek Armed Forces.

The Troika calls for a 79% reduction in costs by 2015 for the Armed Forces

The data included in a question tabled at the Parliament, by the MPs of the ‘Nea Dimokratia’ party P.Kammenos and G.Stylianidis are shocking!

According to the medium-term program, by 2015 operating expenses of the Armed Forces will be reduced to 234 million Euros, from 1,112 billion Euros in 2009. The costs will be reduced by 79% compared with 2009 and 69% compared with 2011.

This means that the Armed Forces will be reduced to 1 / 6 of their power! It is paranoid to discuss such matters in this particular time, while huge interests and geopolitical games are played in our region, but “the government should decide whether Greece will continue to maintain its Armed Forces or no” says the question tabled by the two MPs.

The figures are truly unbelievable, but the numbers always tell the truth. Can the Greek government achieve this goal without significant impact on the fighting ability of the Armed Forces? Anyone who can claim this seriously, we are here to hear his arguments!

This question coincides with information that representatives of the troika want to have … friendly meetings with the Chiefs of Staffs on “how to reduce costs even further.”

Costs can be reduced and there are proposals, submitted two years ago, for closure or merging of units which serve no operational planning or decommissioning obsolete and now unneeded weapon systems. Both Ministers of Defence of the current government of PASOK, Venizelos and Beglitis, did not dare to touch these issues.

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