Greek Parliament Panel Probing Spyware Tangled in Disputes

ATHENS – A Greek Parliament committee that’s supposed to investigate the phone tapping of PASOK Socialist leader Nikos Androulakis and a financial reporter can’t get out of the gate because of bipartisan wrangling.

The ruling New Democracy, which controls the majority of votes in the Parliament, insisted on sticking to rules requiring the panel chairman be elected by secret ballot, using a majority the Conservatives have, ensuring their pick.

The opposition parties want it done on a representative basis and the dispute has left its work in limbo until there is an agreement on how the committee will operate even as the fire against the government is dying down.

There’s also disagreement on how a list of witnesses will be drawn up after the first batch from current and former officials of the National Intelligence Service (EYP) which is tapping the phones of 15,475 people mostly refused to talk.

Another battle is what period the probe should cover after the panel was created to look into EYP’s snooping on people, refusing to name them in the national interest, and accused of using Predator spyware, which the government denied.

There were calls for an inquiry into whether the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA also authorized phone taps, said Kathimerini, with the party’s leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras subdued in criticism.



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