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The judicial system is paralyzed because of the strike of the servants of Themis

17 September 2012 / 20:09:14  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

The new judicial year started like the academic one - with strikes. The judicial representatives have decided not to work between 10 am and 3 pm every day until the end of September in protest against the planned cut in their income.

Judges and prosecutors held a general meeting today, at which the presidents of their trade unions explained that their incomes have been cut by 38 per cent so far and a further reduction of around 30 per cent is expected to cause problems in the justice system.
"Our profession is filled with responsibilities and it is dangerous in some cases, such as lawsuits related to terrorism. Judges in Greece are much busier than our colleagues from other countries," the president of the Union of Judges Vasiliki Thanou said. She appeared in front of her colleagues dressed in the gown she is wearing when dealing with cases in the Supreme Court, where she works.

Her other arguments were judges’ spending on computers, stationery, the purchase of legal issues for their legal library and the magazine subscriptions. According to her, judges pay these additional costs out of their own pockets, although they are closely related to their work.
Vasiliki Thanou referred to an article of the constitution, under which the salaries of lawyers must be relevant to their responsibilities. Most impressive was her statement that the reduction in wages would affect the independence of the judiciary.
"Judges are not rich. They do not have bank accounts in Switzerland and work more than senior representatives of private sector companies. I say this because I hear such comparisons too often. A judge works during trials, participates in meetings, works at home to be prepared," the chairman of the Union of Judges of Administrative Courts George Faltsetos said, and caused a storm of applause from the audience.
He said that if the new salary cuts were implemented the net salary of a juror would reach 1,000 euro and of a judge of first instance, which the majority of judges are, it would become 1,800 euro compared with the 2,500 of today.

George Faltsetos commented caustically that judges and prosecutors were included with the rest in the census of public workers in 2010 although the servants of Themis are a specific category.

During the protest, prosecutors will not submit proposals to the judicial councils, except for urgent cases, no cases will be archived and no cases at the stage of preliminary inquest will be examined. In parallel, the judges will not work at home and prosecutors will no longer work outside the courtroom, for example at stadiums during football matches.
The 24-hour strike of employees in the underground, the electric train and the tram transport announced for tomorrow has been postponed until Thursday. Tax employees will strike on Friday. As stated in a message issued by their professional organization, they "cannot stand the collapse of their services" and the fact that they have become the "targets" of society’s attacks.

Tags: SocietyJudgesProsecutorsStrikesPublic transportTax offices
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