On Tuesday, Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president of the EU Commission, criticized the Greek government for using spyware against its citizens while also admitting that the executive is still waiting for an explanation on the Predator spyware export licenses to Sudan and Madagascar.
It is obvious that this kind of eavesdropping on neighbors and political rivals should not occur. In the European Parliament’s PEGA committee, which carefully monitors the use of spyware throughout the Union, Dombrovskis stated that spyware should be used for its legal purposes in addition to those of security and law enforcement.
Even to emphasize that he understands “what it means for a regime to watch its citizenry,” Dombrovskis cited his Latvian heritage, a former Soviet republic.
The vice-president of the Commission further disclosed that on February 14, the EU executive had requested “clarifications” from Athens on reports that the country had issued licenses for illegal Predator malware and sent them to Sudan and Madagascar.
He claimed that as of now, the conservative Greek government had not answered.
Greek politics have been shaken for months by the alleged “Greek Watergate,” which has Europe scratching its head.
The government claims that it never bought Predator spyware and that all surveillance was done through secret services’ legitimate routes.
There was a parallel, say the opposition parties and the PEGA committee.
EPP feels “relief”
Prior to the national elections on May 21st, the PEGA committee’s report on the use of spyware in Greece will be made available to the public towards the end of April.
Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), a group that includes the current government’s New Democracy, has not spoken up yet.
Stelios Kouloglou of the opposition Syriza party said that if Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis loses the elections, most EPP EU legislators would “heave a sigh of relief.”
“Up until this point, these MEPs were in a really precarious situation. They should protect both their honor and the sister party. With the policies of the New Democracy government, this was a very tough balance, Kouloglou said.