Greek PM says he was unaware of phone taps



CNN

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis faces new scrutiny after the leader of the opposition PASOK party revealed that his phone had been bugged by Greek intelligence when he was a member of the European Parliament in September 2021.

In an effort to limit the political damage caused by the accusations, Mitsotakis said Monday in a televised address to the nation that although the surveillance operation was legal and “everything was done according to the law, it was a mistake. I didn’t know about it and would never allow it.” .

“Greek intelligence underestimated the political dimension of this act,” Mitsotakis said, adding that it “never should have happened.”

The scandal first erupted last week when Nikos Androllakis revealed that he had been informed by the European Parliament of an attempt to wiretap his mobile phone with surveillance software.

He then filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of Greece regarding his “attempt” to spy on his cell phone.

Additional investigation showed that in addition to the hack attempt, as confirmed by the Greek prime minister, the phone was intercepted by the Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP) over a three-month period in 2021.

“I never expected that the Greek government would spy on me using the darkest practices,” Androlakis said in a televised address on Friday.

The EYP chief resigned Friday “after wrongdoings were found during legal wiretapping proceedings,” according to a statement from Mitsotakis’ office sent to CNN.

The Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, which EYP is tracking, also resigned.

Androlakis was elected as the leader of the third largest party in the Greek parliament, the centrist PASOK party, in December.

He urged the Greek parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to look into possible political responsibilities.

The main left-wing opposition party Syriza launched a fierce attack on the government referring to the “Greek Watergate moment”. Greece faces an election year of 2023.

The EYP reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, under legislation that was passed when the current government took office.

During Monday’s speech, Mitsotakis also announced measures to strengthen the EYP’s legal framework, oversight and transparency and said the EYP’s contribution is important and cannot be overshadowed by such a mistake.

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