Spy agency under spotlight

A bill that will herald changes at the National Intelligence Agency (EYP) so it can more effectively collect information and be more accountable while punishing those responsible for leaks is being drawn up by the government and will be tabled in Parliament soon, sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini. Preparations for the Athens Olympics in 2004 exposed the shortcomings of EYP in gathering and evaluating information, and there is a need to put the secret service on equal footing with many of its foreign counterparts, especially given the current international environment, sources at the Public Order Ministry told Kathimerini. To do this, the government believes it must turn EYP, which has existed in its current form since 1986, into a more trustworthy service. One of the ways it will seek to achieve this is by including a clause in the bill which will force EYP to make public any non-sensitive documents after 30 years. The draft law will also require EYP staff to adhere to confidentiality agreements with respect to the information they encounter during their work. They must also maintain confidentiality when they leave their jobs. The bill only allows EYP personnel to testify in court with the approval of the public order minister. Anyone who makes public information about EYP will get a minimum six-month jail sentence and could be fined up to 1 million euros. The publication of names of EYP officers has become a hot issue recently, after the Proto Thema weekly newspaper last month published a list of Greek agents allegedly involved in the abduction of Pakistani migrants. The bill also calls for the director of EYP to hand the public order minister a report each February detailing the agency’s actions in the previous year and its plans over the next 12 months. This report will then be submitted to Parliament so it can be reviewed by a committee of MPs.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.