| Politics || Social Issues |Phileleftheros



The Greek government is currently undergoing its biggest crisis. Two of its officials, the head of EYP [National Intelligence Agency] and the prime minister’s general secretary, have already filed their resignation, while Parliament is to hold an emergency session. And through nebulous statements, the prime minister is desperately trying to stay afloat. 

The cause of the crisis was the tapping of the mobile phones of the president of KINAL [Movement for Change] Nikos Androulakis and journalist Thanasis Koukakis. For these two at least, the phone-tapping has been confirmed. The surveillance was conducted using the software of a company linked with Cyprus, the black spy van, and the Israeli Tal Dilian.

In Cyprus, the case in question was wrapped up with a fine of some thousands of euros and a suspended legal prosecution, without us ever finding out what the van did on the streets of Cyprus. Just as we never found out what happened with the complaint filed by journalist Makarios Drousiotis regarding surveillance and interference with both his phones and computer.

Two years ago, when he filed the complaint, his book ‘I Simmoria’ [The Gang] had just been released, largely contributing to the government subsequently presenting his complaint as delusional. A few months ago, Drousiotis raised the matter once again, stating that 2.5 years later, nothing had actually been done in response to his complaint, with the matter reduced to a case of cybercrime that was taken on by the relevant agency. Of course, no one expected that any government agency would vindicate Drousiotis, since as he himself has written: “institutions in Cyprus exist only to serve the system of power, not to serve and offer security and protection to the citizen.” Hence, the suspended prosecution in the case of the black van, which was imported into Cyprus as a weather station, and, in turn, interpreted as an honest mistake. As was the storage of data.

Today, with the issue of surveillance being raised anew as a result of the events in Greece, our government spokesperson speaks of populism. But the truth is as Evangelos Venizelos puts it: “The interception of telephone communications, either by conventional or advanced technical methods or by the diabolical coincidence of both, is primarily a criminal act. Countries need the best possible and most effective intelligence services, but not at the expense of the guarantees of democracy and the rule of law. No one has the right to plunge the country into sad aspects of the past, both distant and more recent. In matters of democracy and the rule of law there is no room for comparison, there is an absolute demand and an absolute obligation to respect.”


Daily columnist at Phileleftheros for 20 years and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine Synthesis. Earlier she worked for Alitheia and Politis. She was born in Dikomo and has been living permanently in Nicosia. She is married with one son.

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