Greek opposition accuses gov’t of flouting Constitution in surveillance scandal
New revelations by Documento newspaper assert that former commander of national police, senior public prosecutors were also spied on
Greece’s main opposition party has accused the government of flouting the Constitution and democratic norms in a surveillance scandal that has been expanding with new revelations since early August.
Referring to the latest round of revelations by the Documento newspaper Sunday, which said that former national police chief Michalis Karamalakis, who is currently secretary general of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, and senior public prosecutors were also spied on, SYRIZA-PS in a statement called on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to resign or face political and criminal consequences.
“While Mr. Mitsotakis continues to hide and replaces his deputies from the Institutions Committee of Parliament with the aim of keeping his responsibilities in the dark, new shocking revelations are coming to light from the Documento daily,” it said.
The party claimed the premier constitutes an existential threat to Greek democracy.
It added that “Mr. Mitsotakis is no longer accused of monitoring his opponents and associates but of organizing and executing an unprecedented constitutional and democratic diversion.”
In a related development, Saskia Bricmont, a member of the European Parliament’s inquiry committee PEGA, which recently visited Greece over the surveillance scandal, said the committee is concerned that there is a link between Intellexa -- company marketing Israeli-made Predator spyware in Greece -- and members of the government in an interview with the Naftemporiki daily.
“Greek government officials did not answer us when asked why this surveillance was taking place and why an independent investigation is not being conducted,” Bricmont said.
“Mr. Mitsotakis should have already resigned. After all, we know that once he took power, he put the secret services under his control. It seems that members of the government itself were also being monitored,” she added.
On Aug. 8, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged that opposition politician Nikos Androulakis was wiretapped by Greece’s intelligence agency but denied knowledge of the operation.
The scandal first emerged on Aug. 4 when Panagiotis Kontoleon, then-head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), told a parliamentary committee that the intelligence agency had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
On Aug. 5, Kontoleon, along with the general secretary of the prime minister’s office, Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigned.
A parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Predator spyware.
Previously, Documento on Nov. 6 published a list of 33 people allegedly spied on by the EYP on the direct orders of Dimitriadis, including Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Deputy Defense Minister Nikos Hardalias, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, former Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and former National Security Adviser Alexandros Diakopoulos.
Opposition parties have been blaming Mitsotakis for the scandal and have called for his government to hold snap elections, something he rejects.
The European Commission and European Parliament are closely monitoring developments related to the scandal.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.