• The Greek government is set to ban the sale of all spyware in the country amid an ongoing scandal over alleged phone tapping. Greece's PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly denied claims that he's behind any illicit surveillance, but the government has confessed to legal wiretapping practices.[1]
  • On Monday, Mitsotakis said: "We will be the first country to tackle this problem and enact legislation that will explicitly ban the sale of such software in our country." He also stated, "all countries have the same problem."[2]
  • The news first made headlines in July this year, when it was discovered that Greek politician and MEP Nikos Androulakis had been targeted with a mobile spyware called "Predator." A report from left-wing newspaper Documento also detailed the wiretapping of more than 30 people, including ministers and business people.[1]
  • Former PM and leader of Greece's far-left Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, has called for the government to respond to the affair before the next general election, set to take place in 2023. Greece's Supreme Court has ordered an investigation, which has further prompted the EU to examine the use and sale of spyware.[3]
  • Although Mitsotakis acknowledged in early August that Androulakis was wiretapped by Greece's National Intelligence Service (EYP), he denied knowing about the operation. However, other allegations have centered around the EYP, and on Aug. 4, the then-head of the agency testified that it had spied on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis, who resigned afterward.[4]
  • Despite admitting to the use of some spyware programs, the Greek government claims that its operations were approved by a prosecutor. There has been no explanation as to why Androulakis was targeted.[5]


Pro-establishment narrative

There's no evidence to substantiate these politically motivated allegations and nothing at all to connect them with the PM. It's a poor reflection on the state of Greek politics that professional extortionists are accusing the leader of the country of illicit surveillance of his own ministers.

Establishment-critical narrative

Mitsotakis' refusal to address these allegations head-on is casting a cloud over the future of Greek democracy. For events like these to potentially have been ordered by government leaders is undemocratic and illegal. Furthermore, the failure of Greek media to adequately cover this scandal is disgraceful. These allegations demand resolution through independent inquiry and the PM himself.

Cynical narrative

Even if Greece resolves this issue domestically, the problem of spyware and illicit surveillance is prevalent throughout Europe. Many countries, including the UK, France, Poland, Spain, and Hungary, have all been shaken by similar controversies. Although a ban on the sale of spyware would be a positive step, it will be far from the end of the story.

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