Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Monday that he was unaware that Socialist Party (PASOK) leader Nikos Androulakis’ phone had been tapped in 2021, seeking to distance himself in a speech to the nation from a growing political scandal.
The case, which broke last week, has sparked uproar, with opposition parties demanding a thorough investigation and labelling the revelations Mitsotakis’ personal Watergate.
The prime minister, whose party faces a battle for re-election next year, apologised to Androulakis on Saturday, saying he had no knowledge of the intelligence service tap and would not have approved it.
On Monday Mitsotakis added in a televised address: “What took place may have been lawful but it was a mistake. I did not know and obviously I would have never allowed it.”
He said he had only found out about Androulakis’ wiretapping “a few days ago”, and also announced measures to tighten control of the EYP intelligence service’s operations and boost transparency over its practices.
He said the EYP intelligence service had underestimated the political dimension of its surveillance which, while complying with the law, was “politically unacceptable.”