The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is facing immense backlash after it was revealed that the country’s intelligence agency tapped an opposition leader’s phone.
Did the PM order the tap?
Mitsotakis has maintained that he had no knowledge of the incident and described the actions of the National Intelligence Service (EYP) as “politically unacceptable”. The incident has, however, been linked to him because the agency reports directly to the prime minister’s office. The intelligence chief and a close aide of the prime minister’s have already resigned since the incident became public. “What took place may have been lawful, but it was a mistake,” Mitsotakis said in a statement.
Was it lawful?
Well, its legality would be determined in an investigation. The intelligence agency may have been within its jurisdiction, but any surveillance must be approved by a prosecutor. Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou is calling for an investigation into what one person called “Greek Watergate.” Sakellaropoulou said the wiretap violated “a fundamental condition of a democratic and liberal society.” The country’s Parliament is cutting short its summer recess because of the scandal.
How was this discovered?
The news first came to light when Nikos Androulakis, leader of the PASOK socialist party, announced that the European Parliament had informed him of an attempted hack on his phone using Predator spyware. The discovery was made when he contacted the institution’s cybersecurity service after receiving a suspicious message on his phone. Androulakis also disclosed that he later learned that the EYP was listening to his conversations over a three-month period in 2021, when he was seeking to become leader of the PASOK party.