“Αφού υποχρεώθηκε να πουλήσει την οικονομία της, (η Ελλάδα) δεν πουλάει τώρα μόνο τις στρατιωτικές βάσεις της, αλλά και ότι απέμεινε από την κυριαρχία της”. ‘Ετσι τελειώνει το άρθρο για τις αμερικανικές βάσεις στην Ελλάδα του γνωστού Ιταλού γεωγράφου και γεωπολιτικού Mario Danucci στην ιστορική εφημερίδα Il Manifesto.
Greece – the clearance sale of military bases to the United States
The United States have profited cleverly from Greece’s financial problems in order to force them to sign a contract which would enable the USA to block the ocean passage from the Black Sea to Russia. Only the Greek Communists and their allies opposed them.
by Manlio Dinucci
The Greek Parliament ratified the Agreement, which grants the United States the use of all Greek military bases. They will be used by the US armed forces not only for the storage of weapons, supplies and training locations, but also for « emergency response » operations, which in reality means attack missions.
The base at Larissa is particularly important, where the US Air Force has already stored MQ-9 Reaper drones, and also the base at Stefanovikio, where the US Army has already deployed Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.
The Agreement was defined by Greek Minister for Defence Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, as « advantageous for our national interests, because it increases the importance of Greece in the context of US planning ». An importance that Greece has enjoyed for a long time – we only have to remember the bloody coup d’État perpetrated by the colonels, organised in 1967 in the context of the Stay-Behind operation directed by the CIA , and followed, here in Italy, with the period of massacres beginning with the attack at the Piazza Fontana in 1969 .
During the same year, a detachment of the US Navy was transferred from the base in Sigonella, Sicily and settled in Greece, at Souda Bay on the island of Crete. Today, Souda Bay is one of the most important USA/NATO aero-naval bases in the Mediterranean, used for the wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The Pentagon will be investing in Souda Bay the additional sum of 6 million Euros, which will be added to the 12 million it will be investing in Larissa, announced Panagiotopoulos, presenting it as a great opportunity for Greece.
However, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pointed out that Athens had already signed an agreement with the Pentagon for the modernisation of the F-16 fleet, which will cost Greece 1,5 billion dollars, and that Greece is also interested by the possibility of buying drones and F-35 fighters from the USA.
Greece is also notable for being, after Bulgaria, the European ally which for many years has given the highest percentage of its GDP (2,3%) to military expenditure.
The Agreement also guarantees that the USA will enjoy « unlimited use of the port of Alexandroupolis » , which is situated on the Aegean Sea close to the straits of the Dardanelles, which link the Mediterranean to the Black Sea across Turkish territory, and therefore constitute an essential passage for maritime transit, especially for Russia. Furthermore, the neighbouring territory of Eastern Thrace (the small European part of Turkey) is the point at which the gas pipeline Turk-Stream arrives from Russia via the Black Sea.