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Greek government faces no-confidence vote over wiretapping scandal

hellenic parliament mitsotakis
Archive Photo
 
The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been accused of orchestrating mass wiretaps of political allies and foes. Today, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is heading for a showdown with main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras in the Hellenic Parliament ahead of a no-confidence vote in the government over the country’s wiretap scandal.
 
The embattled Greek Government will face a no-confidence vote over an ongoing spyware scandal after opposition leader and former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted the motion on Wednesday in the Hellenic Parliament.
 
Since August last year, the centre-right government led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been plagued by accusations of spying on opposition politicians, journalists and business leaders. The far-reaching surveillance operation was carried out through phone tapping with Predator spyware.
 
Tsipras, whose own Syriza party members (The Left) have been infected with the spyware, submitted the motion “for the defence of democracy, transparency and justice.” He added that Mitsotakis “will be forced to come to Parliament – even if he constantly wants to run away – to give explanations, to be accountable, to answer questions.”
 
Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been accused of running away from accountability since the scandal broke. He has feigned ignorance of the surveillance operation with Greek media and the European Parliament Pegasus Committee despite having brought the intelligence services under his control. After the scandal broke, he insisted the tapping was legal. 
 
Alexis Tsipras, however, accused Mitsotakis of “setting up an Orwellian dystopia” and of spearheading a “criminal network” through phone tapping. He called the spying practice "the deepest deviation from rule of law that the country has seen in its modern history," adding they had a "historic duty" to act. 
 
The vote will be held following a three-day debate in parliament which began on Wednesday evening. Even if it may force Mitsotakis to finally face fellow MPs over the scandal, the motion is not expected to pass. The governing New Democracy party (European People's Party – EPP) enjoy a comfortable majority with 156 of parliament’s 300 seats. The move comes ahead of Greece’s planned elections later this year.