ND lawmaker blasts Greek media's silence on surveillance scandal

Greece
Mon, 15 Aug 2022 10:23 GMT
Nea Dimokratia member's remarks pile on pressure for embattled Prime Minister Mitsotakis
ND lawmaker blasts Greek media's silence on surveillance scandal

A lawmaker of Greece’s ruling Nea Dimokratia party lambasted Greek mainstream media for “keeping silent” over the surveillance scandal that has rocked the country’s political scene. 

While international media covers the scandal extensively, our “establishment media” considers it to be of “minor importance,” said Kostas Tzavaras.

It is a shame for our democracy that our “establishment media” is not making any effort to inform the world about what really happened in this case, Greek news outlet left.gr quoted him as telling regional daily Peloponnisos.

His remarks will pile on pressure for his party’s leader and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is already facing a barrage of accusations over his government’s attempts to downplay the issue.

The crisis erupted this month as a parliamentary probe was launched after Nikos Androulakis, leader of the opposition PASOK-KINAL party, complained to prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Israeli-made Predator tracking software.

Greek spy chief Panagiotis Kontoleon admitted before the investigating committee that the National Intelligence Service was spying on Thanasis Koukakis, a journalist working for CNN Greece.

Earlier this week, Mitsotakis acknowledged that the agency also wiretapped Androulakis, but denied having any information about the illegal surveillance.

Kontoleon and Grigoris Dimitriadis, a top aide to Mitsotakis, have since been forced to resign.

Tzavaras said the surveillance scandal was Mitsotakis’ most serious challenge as prime minister, asserting that it was a heavy blow to the functioning of the Greek state.

He urged the prime minister to refrain from interfering as the fallout of the scandal continues at “both the political and parliamentary level.”
“After all, covering up issues related to the violation of individual rights and fundamental freedoms is incompatible with the ideology and democratic culture of our party,” Tzavaras said.

‘Everything will come to light’

The main opposition SYRIZA-PS party on Sunday again slammed Mitsotakis’ government for trying to distort the facts, saying many questions still remain unanswered.

A party statement accused Mitsotakis of creating “a mafia-like regime” that spies on politicians, journalists and businesspeople.

“We know they are doing everything possible to keep the case in the dark, but their efforts are in vain … everything will come to light,” the statement said.

The PASOK-KINAL party reiterated that the scandal concerns “the individual rights of every citizen,” not just Androulakis.

The government tried to use state resources to cover up the issue and mislead the Greek public, Evangelia Liakoulis, the party’s parliamentary group secretary, said in a statement on Saturday.

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