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Politics

Tsipras: You Are Here to Be Held to Account for a Very Serious Institutional Offence

ATHENS – Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras sternly attacked Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis while addressing the parliament on Friday, during an off-the-agenda debate on the phone tapping issue.

“You are not coming here as a [custodian of morality] but to be held to account for a very serious institutional offence,” Tsipras said, addressing the prime minister, while adding that no one in parliament will be intimidated as “you are accused of institutional derailment and of undermining democracy…It is not a political mistake, it is a criminal offence when surveillance violates the communications privacy of an elected representative of the Greek people and especially so when this involves an elected political party leader, where no arguments of legality or legitimacy could be cited.”

Tsipras demanded that Mitsotakis give specific explanations and answers on why the National Intelligence Service tapped the phone of the leader of PASOK-Movement for Change, Nikos Androulakis.

“Are you serious when you claim that the prime minister is eavesdropping for national security reasons?” he asked, adding: “Who will judge the reason? You are politically and morally obliged to stop beating around the bush and give explanations. You are obliged to explain what reason of national security led you to eavesdrop on Androulakis’ phone. Was he a spy, a foreign agent, is he dangerous for national interests?”

Tsipras then stopped his speech asking the prime minister to answer the above questions, accusing him of both audacity and cowardice for failing to assume the political responsibility for this surveillance and instead blaming his nephew.

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