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Politics

EU Spyware Committee Chief Says Findings on Greece Not Final

ATHENS – The head of a European Parliament committee looking into the alleged use of Predator spyware in Greece broke with one of its members who said indications showed it was at the hands of the New Democracy government.

Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld had said that committee members in Greece couldn’t reach any conclusions because the government kept to secrecy over national security but said it was likely the state was using the spyware.

But the PEGA Committee rapporteur Jeroean Lenears – also from The Netherlands – said its report after the visit was “not a final version,’ and that the panel “cannot – this point be understood as the conclusions or the position of the PEGA committee as a whole.”

He issued a statement after a presentation of the draft report, said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANMA that, “Only the final report and recommendations, as adopted at the end of our period of activity, represents the position of the European Parliament as a whole.

“The deliberations on the findings of our Committee should take place during the meetings of our Committee, where all political groups can present their views on all relevant aspects of our work,” he said.

But Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA – without indicating whether it authorized the use of phone bugging or spyware during its 4 ½ years in power before being ousted in July, 2018, said the draft was “a slap in the face for (Prime Minister) Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his practices.”

SYRIZA said the initial findings given to the European Parliament “focuses on the close relations of Maximos Mansion with the dark center of phone tapping, and on the subterranean routes of involved companies that reach as far as the National Intelligence Service (EYP).”

The draft report, the main opposition party said, “highlights that no investigation has been conducted to throw light on the case; on the contrary, the destruction of evidence has begun.”

The Leftists, eager for a rematch with New Democracy in 2023 elections, said the government has to stop hiding behind national security to justify bugging phones and alleged use of spyware, which the administration denied using.

“Regardless of how hard Mitsotakis tries to cover up his responsibility on the phone-tapping issue, everyone has realized the direct hit on democracy and the state of law by his shady governing,” added SYRIZA.

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