Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a statement at 2:00PM local time on the case by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) of monitoring the phone of Nikos Androulakis during the internal party election process in PASOK-KINAL.
"The National Intelligence Service underestimated the political dimension of this particular case," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday among other things at the beginning of his statement on the wiretapping of PASOK-Movement for Change leader Nikos Androulakis.
"What happened was wrong, I was not aware of it and I would not have allowed it," he underlined.
See the Prime Minister's statement:
The Prime Minister began his message by saying that: "In our Republic there are no shadows allowed. That's why I want to talk to you openly about the recent developments."
He then noted that he was informed a few days ago that "in September 2021, and while he was still an MEP, the National Intelligence Service had made a legal connection to the mobile phone of Nikos Androulakis".
The prime minister then clarified that "the procedure had the approval of the supreme prosecutor, exactly as stipulated by the provision passed in 2018 by the previous government. It lasted three months and was automatically interrupted, as provided by law, a few days after Mr. Androulakis was elected president of KINAL."
At the same time, the prime minister emphasised that he is willing to discuss proposals that "will strengthen the transparency in the action of our secret services without, obviously, hindering their mission. Starting, of course, with the strictest strictures in terms of legal connections. This must be done and will be done immediately with an Act of Legislative Content" .
Then the Prime Minister noted that "there are many enemies of the country who are lurking and would like a weak National Intelligence Service. And if some dark forces outside Greece strike any plan to destabilise the country, let them know that Greece is both strong and institutionally shielded".
Thus, he submitted today four changes that the government will propose:
1: Strengthening the accountability of the EYP and the supervision of the parliament through the Institutions and Transparency Committee.
2: Upgrading the role of the National Security Council for better utilisation of information and the Ministry of Defence.
3: Shielding the legitimate connections framework for political figures.
4: Changes within EYP to strengthen internal control, transparency, extroversion and training of its human resources.
Androulakis, who as MEP was notified by the European Parliament of phone tapping attempts, filed a charge with Greece’s Supreme Court 10 days ago. The issue was discussed behind closed doors by MPs, ministers, and intelligence officials in Parliament on July 29.
In his statement on Friday, Economou said, “As soon as the case of the legal intrusion – following the approval of a prosecutor – concerning Androulakis came to the prime minister’s knowledge, the government sought to brief him fully through (State Minister Giorgos) Gerapetritis, but Mr. Androulakis chose not to respond.”
The government spokesman added, “According to PASOK leaks, there are calls for the reconvening of the Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Standing Committtee.”
“The government responds positively to this request, hoping that Mr. Androulakis will respond this time and be there in person, so that he can be informed and receive answers about all the particulars regarding the legal intrusion that concerns him – answers that leave no room for arbitrary conclusions and conspiracy theories.”
Regarding the opposition party’s demand for Parliament to convene an investigating committee on the issue, Economou said the government will respond positively to such a demand, “since the government seeks absolute clarification of the specific issues over time, under the obvious condition that all necessary confidentiality procedures are observed.”
Parliament should convene an investigating committee immediately to examine the political responsibilities for the phone tapping attempts against him, PASOK-Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Nikos Androulakis said on Friday.
“It is our democratic duty to protect human rights and freedoms of Greek citizens,” he said in a statement, asserting that he will “not allow anyone to use this great issue for politican gain,” as it strikes against the core of Greek institutions and democracy.
Since the charge was filed, he said, the government has “systematically tried to play down the issue with a pack of media reports and false news, even by the government spokesman.”
Noting Friday’s resignations of the prime minister’s closest associate and nephew, General Secretary Grigoris Dimitriadis, and the head of National Intelligence Service (EYP) Panagiotis Kondoleon, that followed a closed-door parliamentary meeting on July 29, the opposition party leader declared that “the attempt to silence and downplay such an important issue is now collapsing.”
The PASOK leader noted that the attempts to tap his phone came in September 2021, when he was running for party leader, and called them “unacceptable for a European democracy.”
All this proves that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his government “are embarrassing Greece abroad,” he stressed, urging Parliament to set up an investigative committee.