Mitsotakis dismisses newspaper wiretapping claims as ‘shame and disgrace’

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis SYRIZA President Alexis Tsipras poll

The charges that the state installed spyware on several of his ministers' mobile phones were criticised by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday as an "incredible falsehood."

The mobile phones of 33 prominent public figures had been unlawfully targeted by Predator spyware and EYP technology, according to a report published on Saturday by the left-wing weekly journal Documento.

The current foreign and finance ministries, the previous prime minister Antonis Samaras, journalists, and business leaders, notably Vangelis Marinakis, the owner of Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest football clubs, were all included as alleged victims.

In a pre-recorded interview with Ant1 TV, the prime minister alleged that prominent opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, “who wants to drag the country through the mire,” was behind Documento’s publisher, Kostas Vaxevanis.

He added that unless Vaxevanis can provide evidence for his claims, he is a “national danger.”

“Political confrontation cannot fall to this level. The prime minister cannot be accused of spying on his ministers without proof,” Mistotakis said, adding that “there is no Greek who believes that I spied on my government ministers in my spare time.”

“I have never denied that there is a centre handling the predator malware, but that is very different to accusing the prime minister of orchestrating this surveillance,” Misotakis said.

“From the very beginning we accepted there was a problem. We don’t know where it comes from, but we’re going to unravel this mess,” he said of the wiretapping scandal.

“I don’t know who is conducting the monitoring. We need to find out. It is not the EYP [National Intelligence Service] and I have no involvement,” he insisted, noting that Greece will be the first country to prohibit the use of spyware explicitly.

He challenged Tsipras to table a motion of no confidence in his government, reiterating that the next elections will be held in 2023.

“I will not be drawn into developments by professional extortionists,” Mitotakis said.