The head of the Greek National Defense General Staff, who had been found “uncooperative” by the conservative government, was aware that he was under surveillance by the country’s National Intelligence Service (EYP), local media reported on Saturday.
The Documento daily argued that Gen. Konstantinos Floros, recorded as target 519c in EYP files, was under surveillance because of his disagreements with the defense minister and the political leadership at large over arms deals and his financial situation.
Floros knew he was under surveillance by EYP and hence was careful in his conversations and switched Signal, an instant messaging application, it said.
According to the daily, Floros, however, was recorded speaking negatively about Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the prime minister's office was regularly informed about this.
His conversations with a prominent businessman, whose name was not disclosed, also attracted the special attention of the EYP and the government, it noted.
Meanwhile, the main opposition SYRIZA-PS, in a statement asked EYP about the purpose of putting Floros under surveillance and who gave the order.
On Aug. 8, Mitsotakis acknowledged that opposition politician Nikos Androulakis was wiretapped by Greece’s intelligence agency but denied knowledge of the operation.
The scandal first emerged on Aug. 4 when Panagiotis Kontoleon, then-head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), told a parliamentary committee that the intelligence agency had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
On Aug. 5, Kontoleon, along with the general secretary of the prime minister’s office, Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigned.
A parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Predator spyware.
Previously, Documento on Nov. 6 published a list of 33 people allegedly spied on by the EYP on the direct orders of Dimitriadis, including Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolaos Chardalias, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, former Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and former National Security Adviser Alexandros Diakopoulos.
The same daily alleged on Dec. 3 that the EYP, which directly operates under Mitsotakis, also wiretapped Floros, Chief of Land Forces Charalambos Lalousis and General Director of Defense Investments and Armaments Thodoris Lagios.
Opposition parties have been blaming Mitsotakis for the scandal and have called on his government to hold snap elections, a demand he refuses.
The European Commission and European Parliament are closely monitoring developments related to the scandal.