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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsLeak of Greek Diaspora Emails Rocks Government

Leak of Greek Diaspora Emails Rocks Government

Syntagma , Greek parliament
A New Democracy Member of the European Parliament sent a barrage of emails to voters abroad minutes after they were informed how to vote by mail. Credit: jebulon cc 1, Wikimedia Commons

The scandal caused by the leak of the Greek diaspora’s emails has rocked the conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

On Friday, a deputy minister resigned, a governing New Democracy official was fired, and an MEP withdrew from the elections for the European Parliament.

Interior Ministry General Secretary Michalis Stavrianoudakis on Friday tendered his resignation, New Democracy’s Secretary for Diaspora Affairs, Nikos Theodoropoulos, was dismissed and MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou announced that she would not be contesting in the June election.

The internal probe ordered by Mitsotakis found that in May 2023 the list of email addresses was allegedly acquired by an associate of Stavrianoudakis, who forwarded them to Theodoropoulos. The list was later passed on to Asimakopoulou.

Asimakopoulou sent a barrage of emails to voters abroad minutes after they were informed how to vote by mail.

MEP denies wrongdoing in the leak of Greek diaspora emails

She had earlier denied any wrongdoing. She denied that she hadn’t sought their consent as required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

​​“One hundred days before the European elections, my office sent a newsletter to Greeks abroad using contact information that I collected during the last five years as an MEP, to ask their permission to communicate with them regularly, as I always have done, concerning personal data and GDPR since 2018.”

“I have never received personal data from the Interior Ministry or any other government body on Greeks living abroad,” she added.

Asimakopoulou is a prominent member of the ruling New Democracy, a lawyer, graduate of the prestigious Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, run by the Quakers, and of the Ivy League Cornell Law School.

Friday’s developments followed Mitsotakis’ comments on Tuesday, emphasizing the need for an “in-depth” investigation into the matter. He said that his conservative party was conducting its own inquiry.

The Athens Prosecutor’s Office and the country’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) have already taken action regarding the case.

The European Parliament will have elections in June and they are seen as a barometer of party strength in countries as well.

Kasselakis blames Mitsotakis for the leak of voter email addresses

The president of SYRIZA, Stefanos Kasselakis, described the withdrawal of Asimakopoulou from the European ballot as anachronistic, stressing that the questions about the conduct of Mitsotakis remain.

“Another ‘sit aside for a while until it is forgotten and you come back’ by Kyriakos Mitsotakis,” Kasselakis said.

“After the uproar over the violation of the personal data of thousands of diaspora voters, Mrs. Asimakopoulou withdraws – retroactively – from New Democracy’s European ballot,” he commented in a post on Twitter.

As he pointed out, “the questions about Mr. Mitsotakis are still valid. How did the MEP gain access to the personal data of thousands of citizens? Did he cooperate with the Ministry of Interior or how else?

“I call on the prime minister to stop hiding. No matter how many innocent victims he sacrifices, the reality will haunt him.”

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