Eavesdropping scandal in Greece: Kyriakos Mitsotakis defends himself under pressure

Eavesdropping scandal in Greece: Kyriakos Mitsotakis defends himself under pressure

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, under pressure over the illegal phone tapping scandal, on Monday (November 7) strenuously denied having monitored some of his ministers and condemned the ” unbelievable lie” a weekly newspaper at the origin of these revelations.

The Sunday newspaper Documento, which is affiliated with the main opposition party Syriza, caused a stir when it published this weekend a list of 33 public figures, including several acting ministers, journalists and businessmen, who have been targeted by the Predator spyware.

These revelations, which are based on sources within the Greek intelligence service, have reignited the illegal wiretapping scandal that has rocked the country since the summer.

They also come days after the European Parliament’s Malware Inquiry Committee visited Greece, which called on Athens to conduct an investigation. “urgent and thorough” in this case.

Among the victims are former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, according to Documento, but also heavyweights from the current government including Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Finance, Development, Labor and Tourism, shipowner Vangelis Marinakis, owner of Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest football clubs.

“Defamatory”

“I never claimed (…) that there was no surveillance. It is very different than accusing the Prime Minister of orchestrating this action.”underlined Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who put the newspaper’s allegations into perspective “shameful”, “defamatory” etc “unacceptable”.

The Syriza party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (2015-2019) called on Monday for this state affair to be clarified “Before the next elections” planned for summer 2023.

The radical Left Party, which has repeatedly called on the government to step down, has indicated that it is considering withdrawing “a vote of no confidence” in Parliament against the Mitsotakis team, which still has a comfortable majority.

The prime minister who came to power in July 2019 reiterated this “The elections should take place in 2023” as expected.

“paranoid state”

The wiretapping scandal, uncovered by investigative media in the spring, escalated in July when Nikos Androulakis, MEP and leader of the Greek socialist party Pasok Kinal, filed a complaint claiming he was the victim of an attempt to infect his phone with Predator.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who put the intelligence services under his aegis on the first day of his tenure, has always claimed his government did not purchase this software, while acknowledging Mr Androulakis’ wiretapping.

He has since promised to pass legislation soon to ban the commercialization of malware.

At the Supreme Court hearing on Monday, the head of the publication of the documento, Kostas Vaxevanis, did not mince his words.

“There is a unique surveillance network of which Mr. Mitsotakis is the mastermind”said Kostas Vaxevanis, referring to a “paranoid state”.

He also promised to provide other names of personalities who are victims of this expensive software that allows to spy on a person almost without leaving any trace.

Kostas Vaxevanis, a very critical journalist from the conservative camp, was behind the publication of the oft-cited list of Greeks with accounts in Switzerland at the height of the financial crisis in 2012 “Lagarde List”.

At the time, Christine Lagarde was head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Where’s the inquest? Which parties were invited to testify? »Mr. Androulakis wondered.

“The political and economic life of the country must not be subjected to such dirty practices”he added on Twitter.

For its part, the Association of Greek Journalists decided this case “Smashes citizens’ confidence in the functioning of institutions and threatens democracy”.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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