From shaken, the Greek conservative Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ends up being seriously shaken and his government increasingly weakened by the scandal of the phone tapping of the leader of the Socialist Party, Nikos Androulakis, and at least two journalists , revealed at the end of July.
The opening of the Greek Parliament has been brought forward by a week at the request of the opposition, to be able to discuss it in plenary session. The debates, most violent, lasted more than eight hours during which Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been treated in recent days of ” liar “, of “danger to democracy” and D’“incompetent” by the head of Syriza and former left-wing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, described in return as “manipulator”, “incompetent who asks in the midst of an election crisis”.
Two secret service officials sacked
The defense of Kyriakos Mitsotakis consists, on the one hand, in acknowledging that there was a ” mistake ” in the functioning of the secret services (EYP), and on the other hand to say that he “knew nothing of these wiretaps” and that, as soon as he became aware of it, he put an end to it and “dismissed those responsible” : the head of these services and his nephew, general secretary of his cabinet. The two men filed a complaint against the journalists who investigated and are asking for one million euros in damages.
The more time passes, the more this position becomes untenable for those in power. None of the questions raised were answered, not even during the ensuing Special Commission of Inquiry. “Under the pretext of state secrecy, the witnesses interviewed gave no explanation as to the reason for these wiretaps, the danger to national security represented by the persons monitored or the origin of this surveillance”, protests Georgios Katrougalos, ex-minister of Syriza. “We don’t even know if the transcripts of those taps still exist, adds Haris Kastanidis, socialist minister in 2011. Defense secrecy does not hold up before a parliamentary commission. »
Whether or not we know why we are listened to
Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged to reorganize the secret services so that “Such mistakes do not happen again” but not to go back on the law passed under its governance in 2021 which lifts the obligation of the EYP to inform the people tapped once the operation is complete. A highly contested retroactive law. For Kostas Tsavaras, one of the first Conservative MPs to step up, “this law must be abolished because it poses serious constitutional problems”. He is no longer the only one. Nikitas Kaklamanis, Conservative Deputy Speaker of Parliament, agrees: “It is not possible that I do not know why I am wiretapped”, did he declare.
When the affair broke, all Conservative MPs sided with the Conservative Prime Minister, who denied the EYP’s use of the illegal Predator software. Now, more and more of them are asking questions. The Greeks too. According to a Public Issue poll, 75% of respondents believe that Kyriakos Mitsotakis has a personal responsibility, and 54% want him to resign.
Greece is used to telephone tapping. In 2006, the entire Conservative government of Konstandinos Karamanlis was wiretapped, without anyone ever knowing by whom. The case was hushed up, hence the fears of bis repetita with this new “Greek Watergate”.