Battle royal expected in Parliament as parties prepare to debate, probe wiretapping scandal

By George Gilson

As Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, along with other opposition leaders, prepare to cross swords over the National Intelligence Service (EYP) wiretapping affair in the first plenary session of Parliament on 26 August, there will be a barrage of meetings in the legislature this week that will include the confirmation hearing of the new EYP chief and determining the procedures for a full-fledged parliamentary probe of the case

Parties are already in battle formation, with all opposition parties prepared to lay the blame for the wiretapping of PASOK-KINAL leader Nikos Androulakis squarely on the shoulders of Mitsotakis, who soon after his election in July, 2019, placed the National Intelligence Service under the direct supervision of the PM's office, with his chief of staff and nephew (his sister's son), Grigoris Dimitriadis in charge of the oversight of EYP.

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Dimitriadis' resignation on 5 August was framed as a move to temper the politically "toxic" environment that emerged after revelations of the surveillance operations (which also included investigative journalist Thanasis Koukakis, who was reporting on banking scandals), and he did not assume political responsibility for the affair, nor has anyone else in the government.

Pavlopoulos' intervention

Ex-president Prokopis Pavlopoulos on 16 August caused a sensation when he lashed out at the government for not assuming its "objective responsibility" for the violation of constitutional rights [Article 19] through the wiretappings.

The PM himself in a national address said that the surveillance was perfectly legal, as it was approved...

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