EU parliament to help probe 'inexcusable' spying on Greek member

FILE PHOTO: European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament will cooperate with Greek authorities to investigate "intolerable and inexcusable" state spying on a Greek EU lawmaker, the spokesman for the head of the chamber said of the bloc's latest espionage scandal.

The Greek president has called for an investigation into the tapping by the state intelligence of Nikos Androulakis, leader of Greece's Socialist PASOK party and a member of the European Parliament.

"Illegal surveillance of members' communications is intolerable and inexcusable," said Juri Laas, spokesman for European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

"Such infringements of the principles and values which form the basis of our democratic system cannot be tolerated, irrespective of the member state where they occur."

The European Parliament, which has 705 members and shapes EU policies, already has a committee investigating the use of the Pegasus spyware in the 27-nation bloc. Pegasus scandals last year rocked other EU countries including France and Poland.

Metsola wants the committee to examine the Greek case as well, with an eye to banning such illegal practices in the EU, according to her spokesman.

The European Parliament has already received an initial request for information from the Greek authorities and will share its findings "in the coming days", he added.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Heinrich)