The European Union shares the Greek opposition’s concerns over illegal wiretapping and the worsening rule of law under Greece’s ruling conservative Nea Dimokratia government, local media reported Wednesday.
The wiretapping of politicians and journalists and the government’s efforts to cover it up have profoundly damaged Greek democracy, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s main opposition SYRIZA-PS party, said during his meeting in Brussels with the European Commissioner for Values and European Transparency, Vera Jourova, and the President of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament, Juan López Aguilar, according to the Avgi daily.
The lack of pluralism in the media and the undermining and instrumentalization of the judiciary apparatus by the government have also created a breach of trust between citizens and state institutions in the country, he said.
Tsipras noted that EU institutions monitor Athens closely as the rule of law is not only a domestic matter but also one of the main pillars of EU values.
“We will do everything possible for the truth to shine forth and to protect democracy and the rule of law in our country,” he vowed.
-Wiretapping Scandal in Greece
In an Aug. 8 address to the nation, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged that opposition PASOK party leader Nikos Androulakis was wiretapped by the country’s intelligence agency but denied knowledge of the operation.
“It was formally OK, but politically unacceptable,” he said.
The announcement followed the resignation of National Intelligence Service (EYP) head Panagiotis Kontoleon and Grigoris Dimitriadis, the Secretary General of the Prime Minister, on Aug. 5.
The scandal unfolded on Aug. 4 when Kontoleon told a parliamentary committee that his agency had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
A parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his mobile phone with Predator spyware.
Opposition parties blame Mitsotakis for the scandal and have called for his government to hold snap elections, something he rejects.
The European Commission and European Parliament are closely monitoring developments related to the scandal.