Greek prime minister says he was unaware of phone tapping of one of the main opposition leaders

In an attempt to limit the political damage caused by the allegations, Mitsotakis said in a televised address to the nation on Monday that although the surveillance operation was legal and “everything was done according to the law, it was wrong. I didn’t know about it and I will never allow it.”

“The Greek intelligence service underestimated the political dimension of this operation,” Mitsotakis said, “which should never have happened.”

Nikos Androlakis revealed that the scandal first came to light last week when he was informed by the European Parliament of an attempt to bug his mobile phone with surveillance software.

He then filed a complaint with Greece’s Supreme Court for “attempted” spying on his cell phone.

Further investigation revealed that in addition to the hacking attempt, the phone was intercepted by Greece’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) over a three-month period in 2021, as confirmed by the Greek Prime Minister.

“I never expected the Greek government to spy on me using the darkest methods,” Androlakis said in a televised address on Friday.

The head of the EYP resigned on Friday “after wrongdoing discovered during the legal wiretapping process,” according to a statement from Mitsotakis’ office sent to CNN.

The Secretary General of the Prime Minister’s Office, to whom the EYP reports, also resigned.

Androlakis was elected leader of the centrist PASOK, the third-largest party in the Greek parliament, in December.

He has requested the Greek Parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate possible political responsibility.

The main opposition left-wing Syriza has launched a scathing attack on the government, citing a “Greek Watergate moment”. Greece has an election year in 2023.

The EYP reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, in accordance with legislation passed when the current government took office.

During Monday’s address, Mitsotakis announced measures to further strengthen the legal framework, monitoring and transparency in the EYP, saying the EYP’s contribution was significant and could not be overshadowed by such a flaw.

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