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Greek government faces confidence vote over espionage | Greece

The leader of Greece’s main opposition party has tabled a no-confidence motion against the government, accusing Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of orchestrating mass phone tapping of political friends and foes.

“Over the past six months, Greek society has witnessed revelations of an inconceivable number of wiretaps, the deepest deviation from the rule of law the country has seen in its modern history,” Alexis said. Tsipras, the leader of the left-wing Syriza party. party, as he presented the motion. “We have a historic duty to act.”

Accusing Mitsotakis of reproducing an ‘Orwellian dystopia’, Tsipras said the prime minister not only orchestrated the massive wiretapping of public figures across the board, but sought to hide his ‘moral bankruptcy’ by obstructing an investigation judicial.

“[He] will be forced to come to parliament – ​​even if he constantly wants to run away – to give explanations, to be accountable, to respond,” said Tsipras, who served as prime minister between 2015 and 2019.

The motion, which immediately sparked a three-day parliamentary debate, was a first step, he told MPs, “in defense of democracy, transparency and justice”. A vote is expected to take place on Friday.

Although the ruling New Democracy party’s majority of 156 in the 300-seat Chamber of Deputies means the motion is unlikely to pass, the overwhelming support it has received from the opposition should cause maximum unease to the government.

The centre-right administration was first put on the defensive in August when the wiretapping scandal, described as “Greece’s Watergate”, first broke.

Mitsotakis was forced to let go of his spy chief and his nephew Grigoris Dimitriadis, the secretary general in the prime minister’s office who was given exclusive oversight of the national intelligence service, EYP, after it emerged that Nikos Androulakis , the leader of the socialist Pasok party, had been followed.

Androulakis, MEP, was placed under surveillance before his election as head of Pasok, the country’s third political force. Later, it was revealed that he had also been targeted by Israeli-made spyware known as Predator.

Mitsotakis described the surveillance as illegal and wrong, saying he would never have approved of it if he had known. But the revelation was quick to shine a light on the Greek leader’s controversial decision to place the EYP under the control of his office days after taking power.

From the outset, the government denied buying or using Predator. The malware is able to turn a cell phone into a listening device capable of activating microphones and cameras.

But with evidence of victims targeted by both, Greek authorities have focused on spyware and traditional phone tapping methods as part of a burgeoning investigation into the case.

The revelations have shaken what had been a double-digit lead for New Democracy over Syriza as Greece prepares for spring general elections.

In December, as the government sought to limit the damage, a law was passed not only reforming the EYP but banning the sale of spyware after a left-wing newspaper, Documento, reported that more than 30 people, including journalists, had been under state surveillance by telephone. malware. Last week, the list grew when investigative media Inside Story revealed that more than 20 other personalities had been followed by Predator.

Earlier this month, Mitsotakis admitted the wiretapping scandal had been the “biggest mistake” of his nearly four-year tenure. On Wednesday, Tsipras said the independent body responsible for ensuring the security and confidentiality of communications (ADAE) had confirmed that a minister and senior members of the armed forces had also been placed under surveillance.

He identified the targets as the minister of labor, the chief of the national defense staff, the former army chief, a former national security adviser and the former and current chiefs of procurement. defense armament. “What national security reason was there to put our national security guards under surveillance? asked Tsipras.

Greece has been singled out for censorship by the European Parliament’s inquiry committee, known as Pega, which investigates the growing use of spyware by European governments. “In any other country, the prime minister would have resigned,” said Stelios Kouloglou, a leftist Syriza MEP who sits on the committee. “It has been a big political embarrassment for this Greek government and a very big embarrassment for Mitsotakis, personally, in the EU.”

theguardian Gt

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