Greek “Watergate”: The government is hanging by a thread

Greek “Watergate”: The government is hanging by a thread

The newspaper has published an extensive new list of journalists and politicians, including a former prime minister whose phones were allegedly bugged with illegal Predator spyware. Document Sunday (November 6). The publication of this list caused a shock in Greece.

“The least Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis can do is resign”Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, a left-wing MP and former minister, told EURACTIV.

The “Greek Watergate” scandal has rocked Greek politics in recent months, when it was revealed that opposition politicians and journalists were bugged by the state.

The new list of Predator victims was published by journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, the owner of the newspaper DocumentShe pours fuel on the fire. Its members include ministers from the current New Democracy (EPP) government and their wives, as well as journalists and prominent businessmen.

Former conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (New Democracy, EPP) is on the list, as is current Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

According to the report, all the politicians on the list were people whom Mr. Mitsotakis did not trust or who coveted party leadership.

The newspaper Document was notably the only newspaper to be banned from public funding by Mr Mitsotakis’ government during the pandemic as part of the controversial “stay at home” campaign.

Journalist Mr Vaxevanis said he has evidence that he will present on Monday (November 7) to the country’s Attorney General, who has since launched an investigation into the wiretapping scandal.

Mr. Mitsotakis has been silent on this new information so far. Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou issued a statement saying the new list would need to be reviewed by judicial authorities. At the same time, however, he launched a personal attack on Mr Vaxevanis, calling him a “national detractor”.

Mr. Oikonomou stressed that while there is illegal spyware in Greece, it has not been used by any authority. On the other hand, the report of Document suggests that Predator was used in conjunction with Greek State Intelligence technology, which the spokesman denies.

A besieged prime minister

Indeed, the question of Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ resignation is on everyone’s lips.

The government has admitted conducting surveillance activities “legal” in collaboration with the intelligence services against journalists and politicians without the use of Predator, but he has so far refused to reveal the reasons, citing the argument of the “National security”.

Mr Mitsotakis said he was unaware of these activities, despite a law having been passed placing him under the direct supervision of the intelligence services. His chief of staff and nephew Grigoris Dimitriadis and the head of the secret service resigned this summer after espionage activities became known.

“From the sequence of events, the consistency of the data and the individuals being monitored, it is clear that the prime minister himself is the mastermind of this dark affair. This is a crucial problem for the democratic regime because it undermines the foundations of democracy.”Tzanakopoulos told EURACTIV.

The European Parliament’s PEGA Committee was in Athens last week to investigate the scandal. MEPs then said they had more questions than answers.

“A paranoid Greek Prime Minister accused of surveilling people he suspected were against him, including his own entourage. This explains why Mr Mitsotakis did not appear before the national or European parliamentary inquiry committee.”a tweeted Belgian MEP Saskia Bricmont on Sunday.

The main opposition party, Syriza, has called on the government to immediately ban spyware, force Predator-owning companies to disclose their customers in Greece and clear up the scandal ahead of the 2023 general election.

Syriza also wants the replacement of the current chief of intelligence, who refuses to act on behalf of ” National security».

“This is the minimum required for elections as a democratic country”a Syriza source told EURACTIV.

When asked if Syriza would ask for a no-confidence vote on the prime minister, several party sources said a no-confidence motion would be tabled if it was possible to overthrow Mr Mitsotakis.

Brussels «tolerates M. Mitsotakis“… for the moment

While Europol and the European Commission appear to want to avoid an investigation into the matter, the FBI is in Greece to find out more tweeted Renew Europe MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.

For his part, Syriza MEP Stelios Kouloglou told EURACTIV that the Commission and the European People’s Party“Have tolerated Mr. Mitsotakis’ illegalities so far”.

“Mr Mitsotakis largely controls the media, but the scandal is so big that it is very difficult for him to survive.”

“He’s trying to stall and will try to cling to power by any means necessary. If he leaves the government and loses control of the judiciary, he cannot avoid criminal prosecution [ce] which he set up”a conclusion M. Kouloglou.


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