SV2/YL7A Mount Athos dxpedition update

A number of internet posts, mostly on facebook, indicate that the YL7A team has not obtained permission from the Iera Epistasia (the Management Council) to operate within the borders of the Holly Community. Therefore there are three options:
  1. The DXpedition operates outside of the borders of Mt Athos but at a nearby location, or
  2. The DXpedition operates within Mt Athos without official permission, hoping that the ARRL DXCC desk accepts it as legal, or
  3. Possibly it is an act of activism, wishing to provoke the ARRL (and others) to either delete the entity or accept operations without the special permit.
So, the advice for now is: Work'em first, worry later don't bother - operation cancelled.

BTW, the web site they promised has not been activated yet.

UPDATE 2015-05-19: According to a DX cluster spot by G0KIK at 08:23 UTC today, the DXpedition was cancelled as the team did not have the required permission to cross into Mt Athos. More information by SV1DPI on the DX-world webpage. According to SV1DPI the YL7A team had visas to enter as visitors but not the special license for a ham radio operation. I'm afraid that their motive is/was related to the third option as stated above, as they are certainly aware of the situation.

UPDATE 2015-05-23: There are many discussions on local and international amateur radio sites, forums and blogs about the possibility that inquiries to the Iera Epistasia by Greek radio amateurs were the cause of the cancellation. My personal view is that the cancellation was the result of these enquiries. However, please keep in mind that Presidential Decree 271/1976 was never repealed, although it has fallen de facto into disuse. Therefore the requirement of article 6, paragraph 1.λα remains in force and dictates written approval by the Iera Epistasia. So any operation based on verbal authorisation by individual abbots & monks (much like the infamous operation of DJ6SI), or a commando-style covert operation should not be accepted as valid by the ARRL DXCC desk. 

See also : SV2/YL7A web site

UPDATE 2015-05-23: Because the YL7A team accuse me for "publishing speculation": What do they expect when:
  1. They announce a DXpedition to an entity with well known licensing problems
  2. They promise a website which does not appear until after their failure and virtual deportation
  3. They don't even publish a short entry in QRZ.COM
  4. We learn from independent sources that they are not properly licensed
If they behave like that, I don't see why I am not allowed to publish speculations. If they don't like it, and if their operation is legal, it's up to them to provide timely information to the amateur radio community.

At the end they admitted that their commando-style operation was not properly licensed, they had just the word of mouth a couple of high-ranking (sic) monks. I still suspect that their so-called DXpedition was just an act of provocation.



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