Σάββατο, 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Wikileaks-σοκ> Ο Καρατζαφέρης "προσκυνητής" σε Αμερικανούς αξιωματούχους και εβραική κοινότητα σύμφωνα με την Τζαβέλλα! (Ενημερωτικό Σπέκχαρντ)

1/9/2011 22:30
Ο Καρατζαφέρης ζητούσε ενίσχυση των επαφών με Αμερικανούς αξιωματούχους αλλά και την εβραϊκή κοινότητα, αποκάλυψε η βουλευτής του ΛΑΟΣ, Νίκη Τζαβέλα, σε συνάντησή της με Αμερικανούς διπλωμάτες. Μελλοντική συνεργασία με τη ΝΔ ύστερα από εκλογική αποτυχία σκεπτόταν ο...
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Greece's Surging Far-Right LAOS Party Inches Towards Center
C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 001515

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARAGRAPH CLASSIFICATION CHANGE
- AND CLASSIFIED BY LINE)

DEPT PASS TO EUR/SE, EUR/OHI
AMEMBASSY ANKARA PASS TO AMCONSUL ADANA
AMEMBASSY ASTANA PASS TO USOFFICE ALMATY
AMEMBASSY BERLIN PASS TO AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF
AMEMBASSY BERLIN PASS TO AMCONSUL LEIPZIG
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PASS TO AMEMBASSY PODGORICA
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PASS TO AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG
AMEMBASSY ATHENS PASS TO AMCONSUL THESSALONIKI
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PASS TO AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PASS TO AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/09/28
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, SMIG, KIRF, GR
SUBJECT: Greece's Surging Far-Right LAOS Party Inches Towards Center

REF: A) ATHENS 1315; B) ATHENS 1459; C) ATHENS 1255; D) ATHENS 1033

CLASSIFIED BY: Deborah McCarthy, Deputy Chief of Mission; REASON:
1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: In the aftermath of their unprecedented success
in European Parliament elections in June, the leaders of Greece's
surging, far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) expect to win 6 to
7 percent of the vote and up to 20 parliamentary seats in October 4
domestic elections and are preparing to be a "more responsible
party" on human rights and foreign affairs issues. Niki Tzavella,
LAOS' senior Member of European Parliament (MEP) and a party
strategist, described to Poloff on September 23 how party chief
Georgios Karatzaferis understood that LAOS' rising political
fortunes meant that the party had to move away from its previously
ultra-nationalistic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. According to
Tzavella, Karatzaferis wanted to make positive gestures to Greece's
Jewish community, was seeking increased contact with American
officials, had tempered his tough anti-immigration stance by
meeting with migrants and committing to anti-racism declarations,
and wished to burnish his foreign relations credentials by
orchestrating an "accidental" but substantive meeting with Turkish
PM Erdogan on the margins of a future EU meeting. Tzavella said
that she and Karatzaferis, both ex-New Democracy (ND)
parliamentarians, shared the same ultimate goal of joining LAOS and
the ND in a broad center-right coalition--and would continue
pressuring ND parliamentarians to defect to their party. END
SUMMARY.



2. (U) See ref A for a broader overview of October 4 parliamentary
elections.



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LAOS Well-Placed for a Strong Electoral Showing

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3. (C) In June European Parliament elections, LAOS rode a wave of
discontent among center-right voters over ND's handling of the
December 2008 riots in Athens, illegal immigration, and the
economic crisis to win an unprecedented 7.15 percent of the vote,
sending two LAOS MEPs--including Niki Tzavella--to Brussels (see
ref D). Since then, Karatzaferis has pursued a two-pronged
strategy of poaching disgruntled ND politicians and publicly
declaring his desire for a LAOS-ND grand coalition. LAOS scored a
political coup on September 9 by convincing the ex-chief of the
Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP), Ioannis Korandis, to
lead the LAOS state parliamentary slate. Korandis brings
experience managing a government agency, a previous stint as Greek
ambassador to Turkey, and also a reputation as a law-and-order
leader. With Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis cutting longtime
party members from his own slates, ND is in disarray and morale has
suffered--all good news for Karatzaferis, who has welcomed three
defecting MPs to his party list with open arms. Mid-September
polls estimate that LAOS will win 6 to 7 percent of the electorate,
nearly double its take of 3.8 percent during the last domestic
elections in 2007. With LAOS still reaping the benefits of its
clear stance against immigration and enjoying a strong nationalist
base in northern Greece, Tzavella noted, she and Karatzaferis
secretly hoped to win 8 percent of the vote and up to 20
parliamentary seats.



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Turning a New Leaf on Anti-Semitism, National Issues?

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4. (C) Tzavela stressed that LAOS leaders recognized that the
party's newfound political strength required it to be "more
responsible," especially given LAOS' reputation as anti-Semitic and
xenophobic.

Tzavela took pains to highlight several ongoing and future
initiatives to moderate the party's positions: 1) Immediately
after LAOS' strong Euro-elections showing, Karatzaferis instructed
party delegates to "tone down" irresponsible anti-Semitism and
racist remarks; 2) Karatzaferis met with illegal migrants in April
to highlight that his proposal for strict immigration quotas was
not racist; 3) LAOS MEPs had signed a public declaration against
racism, discrimination, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia
in Brussels; 4) Tzavela had reached out to the leader of the
Thessaloniki Jewish community, David Saltiel, to discuss how LAOS
can have better relations; 5) Konstantinos Plevris, who had
authored the anti-Semitic "The Jews--The Whole Truth" and who had
called Jews "subhuman" and "mortal enemies," had left LAOS; and 6)
soon after the October 4 elections, Karatzaferis would publish a
signed editorial in a "major newspaper" supporting the resolution
of property restitution negotiations over the Thessaloniki Jewish
cemetery. These actions, Tzavela said, demonstrate that LAOS can
be a responsible partner in a center-right coalition--and should
allay U.S. concerns about LAOS' anti-Semitism. (NOTE: Post has
refrained from inviting LAOS leaders to events such as the July 4
reception due to Karatzaferis' previous anti-Semitic statements and
his having denied that the Holocaust occurred. See the 2009 State
Department Human Rights Report for additional details.)



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The Future: A LAOS-ND Center-Right Coalition?

----------------------------------------



5. (C) Despite LAOS' recent political success hewing to a
far-right, anti-immigration, law-and-order platform, top party
leaders appear to be seeking a way to reunite with ND, either in a
center-right coalition or possibly by melding LAOS and ND into one
entity. In a July 17 meeting, Tzavela said Karatzaferis, ever
since being expelled from ND in 2000, hoped to return to his old
party--and this desire was part of the reason he had embraced a
strategy of calling for a ND-LAOS coalition. During the September
23 meeting, Tzavela noted that she, too, hoped that LAOS could
rejoin ND to form a stable coalition focused on private enterprise,
market-based economic reforms, and revitalizing the 1970s "glory
days" of the Greek center-right. (NOTE: Tzavela herself is a
former ND parliamentarian.) However, given the distaste of most ND
interlocutors towards the notion of cooperating with LAOS (see refs
B and C), Tzavela recognized that ND would have to suffer a
wrenching defeat or otherwise undergo a major change of heart
before a coalition might be realistic.



6. (C) Tzavela assessed that ND would very likely lose the October
4 elections to PASOK and that Karamanlis would step down as party
chief. Tzavela thought his most likely successors were Minister of
Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyianni, Minister of Culture Antonis
Samaras, or Minister of Health and Social Solidarity Dimitris
Avramopoulos. Samaras and Avramapoulos would probably be more
amenable to LAOS-ND cooperation, Tzavela noted, so if either took
over ND, LAOS would push hard for a coalition; such a coalition
would likely push the liberal wing of ND into PASOK's arms. Should
the vehemently anti-LAOS Bakoyiannis take the helm (or should
Karmanlis stay on), however, Karatzaferis would likely continue a
strategy of building strength in hopes of forming a coalition later
down the line.
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COMMENT: Moderation Both a Risk and an Opportunity
----------------------------------------

7. (C) If LAOS performs strongly in the October 4 elections,
gaining 7 or more percent of the vote, Karatzaferis and Tzavela
will face two strategic questions: Should LAOS moderate and become
a "responsible party," risking the loyalty of its vociferous
far-right, ultra-nationalist base? And, does LAOS stand a chance
of pursuing a center-right coalition, even while ND officials at
all levels of the party vehemently deny they will ever cooperate?
During June European Parliament elections, LAOS profited at ND's
expense due to the timely elevation of law-and-order issues and
migration to the forefront of the Greek political agenda. If PASOK
comes to power in October, however, ND has a chance to find new
leadership, reorganize itself in opposition, and refocus on
defending its ideological right flank. With ND potentially
returning to its roots on the political right, and LAOS inching
towards the center, LAOS faces both a big risk and a big
opportunity: This political convergence may deprive LAOS of its
political raison d'etre but also might bring Karatzaferis and
Tzavela's vision of a centre-right coalition or merger one step
closer to fruition. One thing is certain: ND officials may view
LAOS with distaste (see ref B), but they can no longer afford to
ignore Karatzaferis at the polls or when planning political
strategy--LAOS has become an important force to be reckoned with
on Greece's political right. END COMMENT.

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Biographical Information: Niki Tzavela
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8. (C) Tzavela openly admitted that she "did not fit the LAOS
mold" and reserved the right to chart a political future
independent from that of Karatzaferis. Tzavela complained that "no
one in the EU Parliament did any work" and said that she would work
hard to improve U.S.-EU legislative ties on energy security issues.
She hoped to invite the Russian energy minister to Brussels. Other
details:

-- Former ND parliamentarian, speaks fluent English

-- Worked in a Israeli Jewish kibbutz as a teenager; studied at
Howard University

-- LAOS' senior MEP in Brussels and Vice Chairwoman of the Europe
of Freedom and Democracy super-party; Vice Chairwoman of the U.S.
Delegation in the European Parliament and member of the Committee
on Industry, Research, and Energy

-- Was appointed Vice President of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games
Committee by PASOK Prime Minister Costas Simitis

-- Previous Vice President of the Kokkalis Foundation, which runs a
program on Southeast and East-Central Europe policy at the Harvard
Kennedy School

-- Previous Executive Director for International Development for
the Antenna TV Group
Speckhard