NEWS

Bank fined for nosing into employee’s account

A privacy watchdog has fined Greece’s largest bank 5 million drachmas (14,600 euros) for snooping on the account of an employee – who was also its customer – to prove that he regularly gambled at a Thessaloniki casino. According to a report in yesterday’s Eleftherotypia, National Bank of Greece illegally opened its employee’s account – through which his salary was paid – and found that he had made 41 withdrawals in 1999 from the bank’s ATM outside the Hyatt Regency casino. This followed suspicions that the employee, whose name was not made public, often gambled at the casino – an offense for which he was referred to the bank’s disciplinary committee. But the employee, who claimed he often used the casino’s restaurant and bar, appealed to the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, which fined National, noting it should have sought information through the casino. But any dialogue – whenever it takes place – has to be in line with institutions and traditional procedures, meaning that any talks on a political level have to be preceded by thorough negotiations between Foreign Ministry officials.