A huge scandal associated with the “war on terror” is rocking Greece’s Tory government following revelations that about 100 mobile phones, including the prime minister’s, were tapped.
The tapping, through illegally installed software at the Vodafone communications company, began during the spring of 2004. Targets included Yiannis Sifakakis, national coordinator of the Greek Stop the War Coalition.
The tap was “spotted” by Vodafone 11 months ago. “Spying software” installed in Vodafone systems was transmitting conversations and messages to 14 “mirror phones”, located near the US embassy. Vodafone removed the software, making it far harder to trace the culprits, and the government is attempting to bury the case.
But few people doubt that Greek and US secret services, and the Greek state itself, have been heavily involved in the scandal.
Greek police are also now investigating the apparent suicide of Kostas Tsalikidis, an engineer working for Vodafone.
Four days after the the spying software was removed, senior managers of Vodafone Greece held an emergency meeting. Tsalikidis was found dead the next day.
“The phone tapping scandal has confirmed what we have always said,” says Yiannis Sifakakis, “that Bush’s wars are a direct threat to our liberties at home. They are directly connected with racism and the attacks on our democratic rights.
“It is not difficult to understand why the Stop the War Coalition’s phone has been tapped by the secret services. The coalition was the major organiser of the anti-war movement in Greece in the recent years.”