August 11, 2022
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Greek authorities are investigating the wiretapping of a political leader’s phone by the country’s intelligence service, a burgeoning scandal that opposition parties have called the prime minister’s “Watergate,” Reuters reported.
Last week, Nikos Androulakis, the leader of Greece’s socialist PASOK party and a member of the European Parliament, said that he had discovered that the National Security Services (EYP) had been listening in on his conversations from the previous year.
Government officials countered that the surveillance was legal and that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was told about it last week.
Mitsotakis, however, denies any knowledge of the wiretap. In a public address earlier this week, Mitsotakis said, “everything was done following the letter of the law but it was wrong.” He added that if he had known about it, he “obviously would have never allowed it.”
The prime minister, who leads a conservative government, also said his government will overhaul the EYP to make it more transparent even as the opposition remains unconvinced, Politico wrote.
Meanwhile, the scandal has already led to the resignation of the intelligence chief and a close aide of the prime minister.
Androulakis and other parties accused Mitsotakis of trying to “buy time,” while demanding a reason for the surveillance.
President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and European Union officials also called for an investigation of the case.
Earlier this year, two Greek journalists filed similar complaints of being monitored by the EYP, the Washington Post noted.
The European Parliament in March decided to investigate the use of spyware such as Pegasus and Predator, including against citizens, officials and journalists in European Union member states.