Mitsotakis continues to tiptoe around spying scandal

The Greek prime minister claims he had no knowledge of the wiretapping of opposition leader Nikos Androulakis and journalists

Greek prime minister Kostas Mitsotakis has yet another scandal on his hands following the emergence of the news that the opposition leader, Nikos Androulakis, had been wiretapped along with several journalists.

The secretary general of the prime minister’s office, Grigoris Dimitriadis, and the head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), Panagiotis Kontoleon, resigned after the PASOK leader, who is also a deputy in the European Parliament, made the revelations of attempts to spy on his phone.

Since then, Mitsotakis has been avoiding responsibility for the latest scandal to take place on his watch, incredibly claiming that he had no knowledge of this taking place.

“No prime minister can be aware of who EYP taps,” Mitsotakis claimed. Yet according to a change in legislation voted in by the New Democracy government itself, EYP is supposed to directly report to the prime minister’s office.

MeRA25 has been demanding that a debate takes place in the Greek parliament on the issue of surveillance due to the severity of the matter, and has called on the government of Mitsotakis to immediately and institutionally disclose who else is being monitored among politicians and journalists.

DiEM25 and MeRA25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis called Mitsotakis out in parliament, perplexed as to how he could not be aware of what has been happening.

“Did my ears hear well? I would like you to contradict me – that the Prime Minister is the recipient of EYP information and despite the fact that EYP is now his responsibility, by law passed by the Prime Minister, [yet] the Prime Minister cannot know what the EYP is doing, nor can he ever know? That is what I heard. I hope my ears were fooling me. I really hope so,” said Varoufakis.

“Prime minister, in other parliaments, in the British, the German, the French, when a minister or prime minister is caught lying, he resigns – is that true or not true?”

This is not an isolated or a first instance of spyware being used by the current Greek government to monitor potential adversaries.

In April earlier this year, it was revealed that the same spying software – ‘Predator’ – was used for at least ten weeks to spy on journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

Also, last November, another Greek journalist, Stavros Malichudis, was found to have been spied on from a leaked report.

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