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Media: Greek intelligence agencies bugged famous politicians

ATHENS, Nov 7 Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis used secret services to spy on dozens of people, including potential political opponents, ministers, journalists and well-known businessmen, the Documento newspaper writes.
According to it, the “Mitsotakis list” includes the names of 33 people who were tapped under the pretext of national security.

br>In particular, it included former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, current members of the Cabinet of Ministers, including Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Minister of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis with his wife, ex-Minister of Health, Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, Deputy Minister of Defense Nikos Hardalias , Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras, former Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis, who was in charge of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the security services, Alexis Papahelas, head of the pro-government newspaper Kathimerini, Alexandros Diakopoulos, former national security adviser, Alexis Patelis, senior economic adviser, as well as many other well-known and influential personalities.

“No one will believe that some private individuals will decide to listen in on the former prime minister, government ministers and the minister of civil protection himself, violating all ideas about the security of the state,” the newspaper writes and lays full responsibility on Mitsotakis.
In addition, Documento claims that the surveillance was carried out using the Predator malware.
“The malware was introduced into Greece via Cyprus and with the help of the close ties of (the ruling party in Cyprus) “Democratic Gathering” and (the residence of the Greek Prime Minister) Maxim's Palace. (National Intelligence Service) EYP and Predator were in cooperation and mutually complementary, with leadership from a single center,” notes the publication, which calls “Mitsotakis’s parastate a threat to democracy.”
Thus, in one of the articles in the Sunday issue of the newspaper, the Greek prime minister is called “our national ear” and publishes a caricature of it.

Documento has reached out to politicians on the “list” for comment. Most of them said that this was the first time they had heard they had been bugged and had no evidence of it.

ReactionGovernment spokesman Giannis Ikonomou lashed out at the newspaper's publisher, Kostas Vaksevanis, calling him “a national slanderer, a man who has surpassed in the imagination and ingenuity of even the greatest storytellers.”

According to him, the publisher is trying to harm the government and create problems for the New Democracy party.
“What is reported in the newspaper of Mr. Vaksevanis should be thoroughly investigated by the competent authorities and especially the judiciary of Greece, even if there is no documentary evidence of the publication. The Greek authorities must ensure that the Greek media are fully aware of the facts,” Iconomou said.
He reiterated that “no government agency has purchased or is using” the surveillance software that “exists in Greece as in all of Europe”.
“The government will proceed with a general ban on their sale, making Greece the first country in Europe to ban the spread of malware on its territory,” Iconomou said. “cause deep concern, sadness and disgust in every democratic citizen, regardless of party preferences.”

“These are critical times for democracy and justice. For citizens' trust in institutions and the political system. What the delinquent prime minister now claims does not really matter. What matters is how the judiciary finally copes with its task,” the statement says. in a statement by the party's press office.
The press office of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in turn, said that the publication of the Documento newspaper about surveillance of people and the position of the government representative confirm the state doctrine that “no one is exempt from surveillance “.
“The cynical acknowledgment by a government spokesperson of the widespread use of surveillance software in Greece and Europe justifies the criticism that the KKE has made from the outset against a dark institutional structure (EYP) that flouts any notion of communication privacy, is used for political games and primarily is directed against the rights of the people,” it says in the statement.

Eavesdropping scandalSurveillance of political opponents and journalists by the Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP, NIS), which is subordinate to the Prime Minister, became known in the summer. The case in Greece has turned into a major political scandal. It turned out that the secret service tapped the phone of an opposition politician, a former member of the European Parliament, Nikos Androulakis, during the period when he applied for the post of leader of the PASOK-KINAL party. The ruling party was interested in electing his opponent as chairman of the party. In addition to him, the journalist Tanasis Koukakis, who was investigating financial violations, was also bugged. Mitsotakis made a televised address in which he said that the wiretapping of the politician was legal, with the permission of the prosecutor, but it was politically unacceptable and should not have happened, since the case concerned a well-known political figure. The Greek Prime Minister pointed out that “it was wrong”, he “did not know this and, obviously, would never have allowed this.” EYP chief Panagiotis Kontoleon and the prime minister's general secretary (head of the government administration), the prime minister's nephew Grigoris Dimitriadis were fired. scandal in the United States in 1972-1974, which ended in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The opposition claims mass surveillance of citizens by the secret police – 15,000 people were wiretapped annually.
At the same time, the Greek government avoids the word “listening” and calls it “legal connection” to the phone.


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