An interior ministry audit has recommended disciplinary action and further safeguards to protect personal data, following the submission of the latter to the head of the Athens first instance courts’ prosecutor.

The audit came in the wake of the mass sending of unsolicited emails by MEP Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou’s office to expatriate Greek citizens, an action that ultimately had her axed from ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s candidate list for the upcoming June 9 European election.

The audit was also conveyed to the president of Greece’s independent data protection authority.

The main finding is that email addresses belonging to Greek citizens living abroad who had registered to vote in the twin general elections last year were illegally transferred between May and June 2023 by ministry employees.

Several social media users cited the unsolicited emails from Asimakopoulou’s office last March, following notifications by the interior ministry on the process for postal voting for the upcoming EP election.

Since then dozens of Greek citizens permanently or temporarily residing abroad have filed lawsuits against the Greek state for breach of personal data. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis subsequently decided to leave off the incumbent from the candidate list due to the incident, while he announced an internal investigation by the ministry in the wake of the furor.