NEWS

Row over conscript insanity list

The Transport Ministry has appealed to Greece’s highest court against a privacy watchdog’s decision that found illegal the ministry’s practise of keeping a register of mentally unstable men considered incapable of driving a motor vehicle. The ministry keeps files with the names of all Greek males who have been declared unfit for obligatory military service on the grounds of neurological or psychological disorders – and who are, by extension, not allowed to hold drivers licenses as potential public threats. Many Greeks attempt being declared mentally unstable as a way out of serving up to 17 months in the armed forces, which are still furnished via conscription. Decision 66 of 2002 by the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (APPD) found that the ministry’s maintenance of such a register contravenes Greece’s privacy laws. In response, the ministry appealed to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, arguing that the register is necessary to prevent potential traffic accidents caused by mentally unstable drivers.