She issued her statement after the uproar triggered by revelations that the phone of centre-left PASOK-KINAL party was tapped by EYP during the period of the party leadership campaign,

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, a former high court judge who served as president of the Council of State, weighed in today on the issue of surveillance of citizens by the EYP National Intelligence Service, calling for strict enforcement of the relevant constitutional provisions.

She issued her statement straight on the heels of the uproar triggered by revelations that the phone of the current leader of the centre-left PASOK-KINAL party was tapped by EYP during the period of the party leadership campaign, between September and December, 2021, when he was still only a European Parliament Deputy.

Sakellaropoulou called for a thorough and exhaustive probe of the case, and said that [the framework governing the operation of] EYP must be bolstered.

Although the government has stressed that the surveillance of Androulakis was legal, based on previous laws, because it was approved by the prosecutor attached to EYP, Vasiliki Vlachou, Sakellaropoulou focused οn the constitutional provision that such surveillance [of a politician in this case] must be based on issues related to national security and that the lifting of the constitutionally mandated confidentiality of communications must be based on the rule of law and the principle of proportionality.

The Greek president’s statement

“The protection of the confidentiality of communications is a fundamental condition of a democratic and liberal society. The exception provided in the constitution for reasons of national security is linked with the need to protect the country in a demanding international environment, which presupposes vigilance and a difficult weighting [of the facts],” Sakellaropoulou said.

“It [the constitutional provision] should, however, be narrowly interpreted, and its implementation must be in agreement with the rule of law and [the principle of] proportionality. The unswerving enforcement of legality and the transparency of state actions do not constitute only a guarantee of individual rights, but are the most critical index of the quality of our democracy.


“It is the foundation of our trust in our social contract and of the endurance of our form of government. It mandates immediately and completely getting to the bottom of the case of telephone surveillance operations, and the bolstering of the operation of the National Intelligence Service, with self-restraint and dedication to parliamentary procedures and institutions.

“Respect for and the defence of democracy transcends parties, individuals, and offices. It constitutes the highest duty of all of us to the Greek people.”

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