EU confirms sending formal letter to Greece on wiretapping scandal

European Commission follows up on use of Israeli-made spyware against opposition politicians, journalists.

EU confirms sending formal letter to Greece on wiretapping scandal

Following reports from Anadolu Agency and other media outlets, the European Commission officially announced on Friday that it has sent a letter to the Greek authorities, asking questions about the surveillance scandal.

“We can confirm sending a letter to the Greek authorities on 29 July,” Katarzyna Kolanko, the European Commission’s press officer on justice and rule of law, told Anadolu Agency.

“The letter was sent following previous reports on the use of this (Israeli-made) spyware in Greece, as also reflected in the 2022 Rule of Law Report,” she stated.

Kolanko added that the European Commission followed the same procedure with other EU countries as well.

It has been previously reported that Hungary, Poland and Spain used Israeli-made spyware Pegasus.

According to the European Commission’s 2022 Rule of Law Report, “attacks and threats against journalists persist and journalists’ professional environment has deteriorated further” in Greece.

“It was moreover reported that one Greek journalist has been targeted by spyware surveillance software equivalent to Pegasus (Predator), while another journalist was allegedly monitored by” the Greek intelligence, the document said, referring to the alerts of the journalist protection platform of the Council of Europe, a non-EU related international organization.

However, the Greek government denied its involvement in the surveillance of journalists in its response to the platform in June.

“The Greek authorities do not use the specific software described in these complaints. The Greek State does not trade with any of the companies that manufacture or market such software,” it said in a letter dated June 16.

On Monday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted that the National Intelligence Service (EYP) wiretapped opposition leader and former EU lawmaker Nikos Androulakis.

Kontoleon and Grigoris Dimitriadis, the prime minister's secretary general, resigned following the former’s confession at a parliamentary committee that his agency had been spying on journalist Thanasis Koukakis.