Greece has been shaken by the ‘wiretapping’ scandal for days. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis broke his silence regarding the event that had an earthquake effect in Athens. Mitsotakis ‘I was not aware of what was happening. If I had known, I would never have allowed it,” he said.
Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis made a new statement about the allegations that the phones of Greek National Intelligence Organization (EYP) President Panagiotis Kontoleon, Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) Leader Nikos Androulakis and CNN Greece’s economy correspondent Thanasis Koukakis were tapped.
In his statement, Prime Minister Mitsotakis said, ‘There is no permission for darkness in our republic. That’s why I want to talk openly with you about the latest developments. A few days ago, I learned that in September 2021, the National Intelligence Agency made a legal connection to Nikos Androulakis’ cell phone. The National Intelligence Organization underestimated the political dimension of this action. They have cracked the public’s trust in the National Security Services. Precisely for this reason, the President of the EYP was dismissed immediately. The Secretary General of the Prime Ministry assumed the objective political responsibility and submitted his resignation. “I was not aware of what was happening and frankly, if I had known, I would never have allowed it,” he said.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis said in a statement, “Our government has accepted the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry for investigation. Because such a responsible process cannot be turned into a spy series in the political arena. These discussions should not reduce the national contribution of the EYP. We cannot let political debates undermine national security. We live in a dangerous world. But we are a democratic state. We have a sacred obligation to protect the safety, privacy and confidentiality of our citizens. I will continue to walk on this path so that we can build more robust and time-proof democratic institutions together.”
THE COMMENT OF THE OPPOSITION TO THE ANSWER REQUEST WAS HARD
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s main opposition party SYRIZA, said the resignations over the wiretapping allegations “contain an admission of guilt and confirm the responsibility of the prime minister”.
Tsipras said, ‘Mitsotakis should explain to the Greek people about his scandal. “This is a matter of democracy,” he said. SYRIZA accused the prime minister of knowing and coordinating the wiretaps. The main opposition party also claimed that Mitsotakis sacrificed his closest and most trusted partners to save himself.
The party claimed the two resignations “proved that the Government and its Spokesperson, Yiannis Economou, had been telling ‘corrupt lies’ for months.” PASOK also accused the government of trying to cover up the wiretapping allegations, although it was confirmed.
Parliamentary Group Leader Kostas Skandalidis, referring to the parliamentary commission meeting held behind closed doors on the allegations on July 29, said, “10 days ago, the PASOK leader claimed that there was an attempt to tap his mobile phone, and this was approved by the European Parliament. The next day, the government rushed to parliament to close the issue,’ he said.
‘GREECE HAS A PROBLEM OF DOMOCRACY AND TRANSPARENCY’
“The government’s reasons for resigning on Friday are ridiculous and frankly incomprehensible,” Skandalidis said. Greece clearly has a huge democracy and transparency problem. The responsibility for this lies directly with the prime minister. If it cannot fulfill its democratic obligations, it should go to the elections. PASOK will continue to fight the uncontrolled dark mechanisms in Greece,” he said.
On the other hand, two lawmakers who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity said that Intelligence Chief Kontoleon admitted during a parliamentary committee on July 29 that the service was ‘spying on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial journalist working for CNN Greece’.
CALL TO THE GREEK PARLIAMENT
Androulakis urged the Greek parliament to set up an investigative committee to investigate the case. The government has said it will support the request if it is formally submitted.
Androulakis, who was elected as the Chairman of PASOK in December 2021, said on Friday evening that he learned that the EYP had been listening to the phone calls in late 2021, but did not reveal the source of the information. The European Parliament confirmed that Androulakis’ phone was tapped. On Friday, Grigoris Dimitriadis, General Secretary and nephew of Kondoleon and Mitsotakis, resigned.