Greek opposition to boycott parliament over wiretap scandal

Feb 2. 2023

Greece’s main opposition party said Tuesday that it won’t participate in parliamentary votes until a general election is held later this year, in response to the alleged wiretapping of senior officials by the state intelligence service.

“We will not legitimize the legislative work of a government that is demonstrably … deviating from democracy,” opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who heads the left-wing Syriza party, told reporters.

Allegations that politicians and journalists have been targeted in legally-sanctioned wiretaps, as well as with spyware from unknown origins, have triggered judicial investigations and rattled Greece’s politics before an election due before the summer.

Tsipras on Tuesday called for parliament to be dissolved immediately, allowing for the election to be held in three weeks — a demand the government swiftly rejected.

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Greek Watergate: Socialists deny being ‘blackmailed’ by government

Feb 2. 2023

The Greek socialist party (Pasok) refuted assumptions by the main opposition Syriza party that the conservative government is blackmailing its leader Nikos Androulakis through a wiretapping scandal to influence post-election coalition talks, Pasok sources told

The scandal erupted last summer when MEP and Pasok leader Nikos Androulakis found that secret services attempted to bug his phone with Predator spyware.

Analysts suggest that Pasok, which steadily ranks third in polls, will be a kingmaker’s role in the next elections as a new electoral law will be implemented, and a coalition government will be needed.

Tensions escalated earlier this week when Syriza spokeswoman Popi Tsapanidou said the Greek prime minister “may know secrets of Androulakis and can blackmail him”, thus affecting the post-election coalition talks.

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Greek Watergate: Behind the Predator Spyware Scandal

On 27 January, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis narrowly survived a vote of no confidence called by the opposition in light of a government wiretapping scandal. With general elections coming up in July, the widespread wiretapping of journalists, opposition politicians, and military figures is emerging as a major campaign issue. As Alessio Giussani explains, state surveillance has a longstanding, underexamined legacy tracing back to Greece’s decades of military dictatorship.

On 22 October 1981, 27-year-old Greek historian Leonidas Kallivretakis walked into the notorious General Security Sub-Directorate on Mesogeion Avenue in Athens, determined to take full ownership of his political history.

During the military dictatorship of 1967 to 1974, the building had been a site of interrogation and torture of Communists (the country’s “internal enemies”) and others opposed to the junta. Eight years into restored democracy, the political climate had changed significantly: the recent triumph of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in national elections was a decisive sign of reconciliation with the country’s long-persecuted left.

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MEP calls for ‘clarity’ on Greek Watergate before elections

Feb 1. 2023

The investigation over the Greek wiretapping scandal should be completed before the national elections so “any shadow of a doubt is lifted”, Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld told EURACTIV amid concerns in Athens that some politicians whose phone was bugged may be blackmailed, potentially affecting the post-election coalition talks.

Sophie in ‘t Veld is a Dutch EU lawmaker from the centrist Renew Europe group of the European Parliament. She is also the rapporteur for the Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA) and has been following closely the so-called “Greek Watergate” scandal, in which politicians, businessmen and journalists have been wiretapped by secret services.

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The scandal has shaken Greek politics and has created a toxic atmosphere before the next national elections due to take place by the summer.

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Greek Government Survives Censure Motion on Wiretapping Scandal

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