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Greece appoints diplomat as new intelligence service chief

file photo: nato summit in madrid
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

A Greek parliamentary committee approved on Wednesday the appointment of diplomat Themistoklis Demiris to head the country’s intelligence service (EYP) after his predecessor’s sacking over a wiretapping scandal.

Demiris, 70, a secretary general at Greece’s foreign ministry, has served as ambassador to Italy, Cyprus and the European Union.

His appointment was cleared by the parliament’s 19-member institutions and transparency committee after a closed-door hearing, the parliament’s president said in a statement.

The ruling New Democracy party has 10 members in the committee. Members of the political opposition did not endorse his appointment, the semi-official Athens News Agency (ANA) said.

Demiris will take over from Panagiotis Kontoleon who resigned earlier this month over the phone tapping scandal.

Kontoleon resigned after it was revealed that the service had tapped the phone of Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the socialist PASOK party, the country’s third largest.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose party faces an election next year, said earlier this month he was unaware that Androulakis’ phone had been tapped.

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