ATHENS – Major opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras, in Parliament, identified six people whose phones were bugged by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) including military leaders.
He said that an envelope given to him by the head of the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security & Privacy (ADAE) Christos Rammos at their meeting confirmed them, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.
Tsipras read the names of Labor Minister Kostis Chatzidakis; Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDSG) Chief, General Konstantinos Floros; the former National Security Advisor Alexandros Diakopoulos; and the former and current heads of the General Directorate for Defence Investments & Armaments (GDDIA), Theodoros Lagios and Aristidis Alexopoulos.
“Six out of six, confirmed by ADAE,” noted Tsipras, who earlier dared the government to arrest him for revealing information about surveillance, an offense under a law which could see offenders prosecuted.
“Greek society has been living in the last six months in a whirlwind of revelations over an inconceivable number of phone tappings. In the vortex of the most extensive and deepest departure from the rules of law the country has seen after 1974,” when the military junta fell, Tsipras said.
Although the New Democracy government easily has enough votes to defeat the censure motion tabled in Parliament by Tsipras, he brought it as a nascent campaign as begun ahead of elections seen coming as soon as April.
Tsipras said he did it “in defense of democracy, transparency and justice,” and not as political grandstanding certain to fail given that the government easily has enough votes to defeat the motion.
He used the opportunity to rail at Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who routed the Leftists in July, 2019 snap polls and whose Conservatives hold a 7.5 percent lead in the most recent survey.
Tsipras directed his pique at the government over a lingering surveillance scandal it’s trying to downplay and set aside while Mitsotakis hasn’t referred to it while lauding his achievements.
Referring to the premier and his government, Tsipras said that both “are irrevocably guilty … not only do they have political, but also heavy personal and legal responsibilities,” he said.
He said that the government and Mitsotakis should not stay in power “one day longer,” without explaining who would take over with elections still at least almost three months away, the campaign underway.
Tsipras said, however, that since Mitsotakis is in power that it “is dangerous for democracy, the country’s security and people’s rights, as they turned national security into a field of wiretapping and extortion.”
The main opposition leader added in his speech that “at some point there comes a critical moment when the country, society, the political parties and the citizens are called upon to adopt a clear position, assume their responsibilities and rise to the occasion. We are at this point now.”