Around 33 people were found to have traces of the illegal Predator spyware on their devices, including several cabinet members, according to a report in a Greek newspaper, reports Politico:
Greece's ever-expanding spyware scandal took another turn on Saturday with the publication of a long list of names of government officials, journalists and businessmen targeted with malware.
According to the Greek newspaper Documento, around 33 people were found to have traces of the illegal Predator spyware on their devices, including several members of the Cabinet of Ministers of the conservative New Democracy government and members of their families, main opposition politicians, journalists and businessmen mainly from the media sector".
The names on the list include the Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs, two former Ministers of Civil Protection, the Minister of Development, Labour, Tourism, together with their spouses, as well as already known targets Nikos Androulakis and journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
In a statement late Saturday, government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou said the publication was "overwhelming in narratives but evidence is lacking," adding that the report "needs to be thoroughly investigated by the authorities and especially by the Greek judiciary."
The chairman of the PEGA Commission, Jeroen Lenaers, called on Athens to thoroughly investigate the surveillance allegations and added that the governments of Cyprus and Greece have made an effort to actively cooperate with the commission, answering its questions and sharing their proposals for reforms that could strengthen citizens' fundamental rights.
"The government will proceed with a blanket ban on the [spyware] market, a move that will make Greece the first country in Europe to ban the circulation of malware on its territory," Oikonomou said in a statement.
However, on Friday, Sophie in 't Veld of the PEGA Commission pointed to the fact that the use of this spyware is already illegal in Greece, so it would be more important to focus on implementing the legal framework.
With Greece heading towards elections by next summer, Sophie in 't Veld underlined the need to get the issue fully cleared up before they do.
"National elections are also European elections, so they must be free and fair," he said. "Any shadow must be removed before the elections."