An opposition politician has been bugged and the prime minister does not want anything to do with him – although he is responsible.
Why? Greek politics has been shaken by the wiretapping scandal. For several months, the head of the opposition Social Democrats (PASOK), Nikos Andrulakis, was wiretapped by Greek intelligence. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis broke the silence and acknowledged the case. However, he claimed that he did not know anything about it. Nor would he have ever consented to shading. However, many questions remain unanswered, and the opposition is already talking about “Greek Watergate”.
Spyware ›PredatorPredator is the biggest sticking point in the whole affair.
Why eavesdropping? At the time Androllakis was bugged, he was a member of the European Parliament. It was his cybersecurity service that discovered the spyware attack using the Predator system on the cell phone. Androlakis then discovers that he has been bugged by Greek intelligence. There is speculation in Greece about the reasons for the wiretapping: According to Athens-based journalist Corina Jessen, the current conservative government may be interested in knowing which other party PASOK might be able to work with after the upcoming elections.
order from abroad?
The responsible and now independent head of the Greek intelligence service is said to have recorded that he started the wiretapping operation at the request of the Ukrainian and Armenian authorities, who were interested in Androlakis as a member of the European Parliament. Representatives of the two countries immediately rejected this. “Moreover, it would not be better if their agency were to spy on Greek politicians at the request of foreign intelligence services,” says journalist Corina Jessen.
who is in Charge? According to Mitsotakis’ statement, it is still not clear who commissioned the eavesdropping operation – or who may or will be eavesdropped. “Mitsotakis’ government put the intelligence service directly under the prime minister’s authority as one of its first actions after taking office,” says Jessen. So the Mitsotakis has complete control over the intelligence service, so there are doubts about whether they know anything about the wiretapping operation. The wiretapping campaign is likely motivated by partisan politics – which, of course, goes against all laws.
bad for the government
The wiretapping scandal is casting a dark shadow over the conservative prime minister’s three-year tenure, which has gone relatively smoothly so far. Mitsotakis, better known as a technocrat, has not only succeeded in pulling Greece out of a financial crisis that has lasted nearly a decade since taking office in the summer of 2019. He is also managing external crises such as the conflicts with neighboring Turkey and the coronavirus pandemic with a steady hand. In addition, Athens has recently been able to attract investors and companies to the country, also on the basis of a very successful digitization strategy. All of this could now fade into the background on the way to the next election, scheduled for July 2023.
What about eavesdropping software? The Greek government has long denied that it bought Predator’s eavesdropping software, even though a Greek journalist has proven to be being monitored by Predator and the distributor runs an office in Athens. In addition, according to journalist Jessen, according to the research, there is a relationship between the director of the distribution company “Predator” and the director of the Prime Minister’s Office Mitsotakis. “This spyware is the big sticking point in the whole issue,” Jessen says.
What’s Next? In the meantime, it was decided to form a parliamentary investigation committee. However, intelligence is said to have already destroyed the files on Androlakis’ surveillance. However, in the medium term, things will certainly become more difficult in the Greek political scene due to the eavesdropping operation, Jessen is convinced. Since after the upcoming elections in a year, no party will be able to govern alone and the relationship between the Conservatives and PASOK is now tense, she believes that this wiretapping could also lead the country to an unstable phase in the long run.
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