Finally, there is some official reaction to the offer of alleged Diaspora Greeks to buy the Greek Debt with the mythical donation of 600 billion US-dollars. After several weeks with Greek-American Emmanuil Lambrakis going around, speaking to television channels and inviting journalists to press conferences, creating false hopes to debt-ridden and broke citizens and heralding to buy the Greek debt in exchange of Constitutional changes and new parliamentary elections, the Finance Ministry decided to take position.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Greek Finance Ministry describes as “a joke” the claims of “600 billion dollars to have been allegedly collected to be invested in Greece.
“Any information of ‘discovered treasures’ offered to pay off our debts can be treated as a joke. No proposal or offer has been submitted to the ministry and the government in general. It would be prudent that various gold miners demonstrate at least some basic seriousness” (via in.gr)
The ministry’s reaction comes a couple of days after Lambrakis & Co held a press conference in an Athens hotel and broke the red line of spreading the word about the alleged foundation he represents through tiny regional broadcasters and the internet. Suddenly his offer of alleged 600 billion dollars was even in main stream media. The public opinion started to ask how realistic was the offer, while no journalist bothered to thoroughly search the issue. Who is Lambrakis? Who is Sorras, the benefactor of the $600 billion loan and the E.N.D. Foundation, an acronym of End National Debt.
On Wednesday, Lambrakis showed to the media some papers claiming the E.N.D. fundation was a non-profit registered in Canada and that he was holding a letter of attorney confirmed by the Greek Consulate in Toronto. He also showed the press some banking copies.
The official news agency AMNA was forced to check the issue and asked Greek Consular authorities in Canada and Diaspora Greeks in the USA.
The Greek Consulate dismissed Lambrakis’ claims, while Diaspora Greeks of Montreal and Toronto said, they didn’t know these guys.
John Kassimatidis, one of the richest Diaspora Greeks in the USA, said ”that’s a fraud”.
Hoax, Fraud or Serious Offer?
I personally had checked the issue a couple of week ago. I think it was beginning or middle of September, when Lambrakis’ August interview started to circulate again on the internet. I was surprised that a foundation with alleged at least $600 billion in assets had no presence in the internet. What one could see, was a press released issued by E.N.D. and submitted to several websites, preferably in English and owned by Diaspora Greeks.
The Canadian Bureau of END (End National Debt) a Philanthropic NGO, on behalf of Mr Artemios Sorras, a founding member of END and benefactor of the loan, announces that the New York Head Quarters of END via its Chairman Dr. Emmanuel Lambrakis have officially offered a sovereign loan to the Republic of Cyprus in the sum of up to Euro 40 billion (USD$50 billion dollars) without interest, with a tenor of up to 100 years, and with partial repayment privileges in full or in part every 5th year anniversary of the loan to.
END via its chairman Dr Emmanuel Lambrakis and on behalf of Mr. Artemios Sorras benefector of the loan, further announces that, the sum of up to Euro 400 billion (USD500 billion dollars) shall be offered officially to Greece, by September 9th, 2012, with interest at 0,5% per annum, for up to 100 year tenor, with prepayment privileges in full or in part every 5th year. etc etc etc. (Press release via CanadaNewsWire)
I had spent almost three hours checking the internet to get a clue. No presence of the rich foundation on internet. I kept feeding google with key words and key words combinations in Greek and English. Nothing. The same press release all over the internet.
But finally I got the clue. The name of the benefactor of the loan was Artemios Sorras, a name involved in the case of the Bank of Anatolia shares.
Bank of Anatolia (Bank d’ Orient) established in 1904 by the National Bank of Greece. Twenty years later the bank was absorbed by the NBG. However the family of Sorras still has shares of the Bank of Anatolia apparently worth of more than 500 billion dollars in today’s value. (zougla.gr)
Odd enough while it was impossible to locate End National Debt on internet, it was possible to find Ellas Never Die, an organisation based in Greece, claiming to represent the rights of the share holders of the Bank of Anatolia. End of September, EllasNeverDie issued a statement saying it has absolutely no affiliation or connection with Lambrakis & Co.
Meanwhile more investigation is being done on the issue, and US-based Greek-American News Online writes that the whole deal may be woven through “International Bills of Exchange (ΙΒΟΕ)” placed in a custodian bank account so that one can receive statements for the nominal value. “And then you use them to cheat someone that you have money,” write the GANO.
Greek-American news Online has a thorough research on the issue presenting papers and names involved using all possibilities to crosscheck real and fake diamonds. What the newspaper says is that Lambrakis & Co have failed so far to submit documents proving their claims. And further, that they have received threats.
Also Minister for Diaspora Greeks, Antonis Georgiadis presented some controversial documents provided by a lawyer of the donors’ group and threatened to go to prosecutor if Lambrakis and Sorras won’t reveal in which bank the 600 billion USD have been deposited.
Documents upload by Georgiadis: “Sovereign Democracy of Ellas”? Hellenic Republic/Ellas”?*
According to iefimerida.gr, the Bank of Montreal considers to take legal measures against Lambrakis & Co. The claim that they have deposit of $600 billionin US Treasury bonds there, apparently “create problems to the bank, one of the 5 biggest in Canada, that has deposits of $150 billion – one fourth of the alleged amount.”
The newspaper questions the validity of the document saying
“it is not the official document issued by any bank, but by a private company “Federal Stock Transfer & Custody Agent” – a company that allegedly manages billions of USDollars, but it has no official professional email registered in the company but on a chat service of aol.com.”
What are the motives of the benefactors, one can ask. I really do not know and have no time to speculate about.
END of story.
* remeblance to the language used by Nigerian spams must be a coincidence, right?
Oct 5/2012: Here is a well-written article explaining the connection of $600 billion wealth with the Bank of Anatolia shares.
As long as it’s not 100% proven that this mythical amount exists, questions will remain and cast serious doubts on the whole generous project.