President of the PASOK-KINAL opposition party, Nikos Androulakis, described Eva Kaili as a "Trojan Horse for New Democracy" when speaking on Saturday morning on ANT1 television.
According to him, the behaviour of the vice-president of the European Parliament since he submitted his complaint regarding the surveillance against him had created a rift between her and PASOK. He said that coupled with yesterday's revelations, it was the final straw for her inclusion in the party.
Greece’s parliament passed a bill on Friday overhauling the country’s intelligence service (EYP) and banning the sale of spyware, as the government tries to mitigate the impact of a phone-tapping scandal still under investigation.
The case has turned up the heat on the conservative government, which faces elections in 2023. It emerged in August when Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the socialist PASOK party, Greece’s third-largest, claimed the EYP listened to his conversations in 2021.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who brought EYP under his control after taking office in 2019, has apologised to Androulakis, saying the EYP operation was politically unacceptable, despite being legal, and that he was unaware of it - something Androulakis rejects.
The opposition leader also believes that Kaili's responses to the spying charged against Mitsotakis from the ruling New Democracy.
PASOK said in a statement Friday: “Following the latest developments and the investigation by Belgian authorities into corruption of European officials, MEP Eva Kaili is expelled from PASOK-Movement of change by decision of President Nikos Androulakis.”
Kaili’s political group within the European Parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, also announced on Friday they were suspending Kaili from the group with immediate effect “in response to the ongoing investigations.”
This comes as Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirmed to Belgian public service broadcaster RTBF on Friday that one of the parliament’s 14 vice presidents had been taken in for questioning as part of a probe into corruption involving the European Parliament and a country from the Persian Gulf.
In a statement, the prosecutor said that for two years, Belgian federal police inspectors “suspected a country from the Persian Gulf of influencing economic and political decisions of the European parliament,” according to RTBF.
In this photograph taken on July 26, 2022 Nikos Androulakis, a member of European Parliament and president of the Movement for Change (Pasok-Kinal) party, talks to media after filing a complaint at the Supreme Court in Athens over attempted spying on his mobile phone with Predator malware.
The Belgian police suspect that the country transferred “consequential sums of money” or “important gifts” to significant actors within the European Parliament, according to RTBF.
The federal prosecutor did not identify the vice president but said they were one of four individuals taken in for questioning.
“Among the arrested persons (is) an elderly European parliamentarian,” the prosecutor said.
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates all surround the Persian Gulf.
Searches carried out as part of the inquiry resulted in the seizure of roughly 600,000 Euros ($632,000) in cash, according to RTBF. Computer materials and phones were also seized as part of the sixteen searches which took place in the Belgian areas of Ixelles, Schaerbeek, Crainhem, Forest and Brussels.