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Politics

PASOK, SYRIZA Rip New Democracy Over Email Data Breach Case

ATHENS – The main rivals to the ruling New Democracy lashed over a data breach scandal in which emails were sent to Diaspora voters by Member of the European Parliament Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, leading her to withdraw from elections.

She sent the messages to the voters minutes after instructions were released by the Interior Ministry over how to vote by mail after the ruling Conservatives expanded the eligibility to let more Greeks abroad take part in elections.

How she got their email addresses set off a firestorm of criticism after some in the Diaspora said they had not consented, which is required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The Socialist opposition PASOK said that the Interior Minister Niki Kerameus should be held accountable after General-Secretary Michalis Stavrianoudakis resigned and New Democracy’s Secretary for Diaspora Affairs Nikos Theodoropoulos was dismissed.

In a statement, PASOK said New Democracy was turning the Interior Ministry “into their own electoral center,” and said it was critical to ensure “the credibility of the electoral process and the integrity of electoral data,” saying Kerameus was responsible for that.

“The minister must be held accountable for the data leak and must assume responsibility personally as the head of the Ministry of Interior, without transferring it to general secretaries or other officials,” PASOK said.

Asimakopoulou was accused of using an official, non-public voter register for campaigning, leading.Leftist SYRIZA opposition leader Stefanos Kasselakis said it was New Democracy who pushed Asimakopoulou not to run again, as a political tactic.

“It’s just another stay-aside-for-a-while-until-this-is-forgotten-and-you’ll-be-back move from (Prime Minister) Kyriakos Mitsotakis,” Kasselakis said in a post on X social media platform as he piled on with criticism.

Despite her “belated withdrawal,” he added, questions for Mitsotakis remain: “How did the MEP gain access to the private data of thousands of citizens? Did she cooperate with the Interior Ministry or how?” before urging the premier to “stop hiding.”

“No matter how many scapegoats he chooses to sacrifice, this reality will continue to haunt him,” Kasselakis said.

Kerameus earlier told state broadcaster ERT that, “We will not allow any shadows in this matter,” announcing her ministry would investigate how the MEP got the email addresses but not providing any answers yet.

“Our goal is to ascertain and confirm the adequacy of the security of personal data protection processes,” she said, after the opposition parties called for answers from the ministry on the affair.

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