The cutback of wages and pensions ruled as illegal. Court race for the return of incomes that were illegally curtailed commences

Recent decisions of the Administrative Courts (indicatively Decisions no. 3037/2018 of the Thessaloniki Administrative Court of First Instance as well as no. 5973/2018 of the Piraeus Administrative Court of First Instance), ruled that the cut-backs in pensions and wages, that were pertained as obligations in the Memorandum concerning the Greek economy, infringe a number of constitutional provisions as well as the 1st Protocol of the ECHR.

 

It shall be noted that the said obligations have already been ruled as unconstitutional by a series of decisions of the Council of State and the Court of Auditors. The recent decisions of the First Instance Courts, ruling on the requests of specific citizens groups, follow the same route.

Specifically, the said decisions ruled that the pensioners have the right to raise claims concerning the deduction of their primary and ancillary pensions from 1.1.2012 forward as well as the elimination of the allowances dating from 1.1.2013, as well as the Easter, summer and Christmas bonuses.

The present decisions seem to maintain the basic case-law that inclines to restore, or at least to safeguard the standard of living of the vulnerable social groups, which, among others, have borne the burden of the economic crisis.

Characteristic is the consideration mentioned in one of the above-said court decisions (no. 3037/2018 of the Thessaloniki Administrative Court of First Instance) regarding the curtailment of pensions: it is possible for measures aiming to the curtailment of public expenses to be adopted in legislation, such as the cut-back of pensions of those receiving them by the State or any social security body. However, the said legislative power is not without limitations, since the cut-backs shall not lead to a violation of the core of the constitutional right of social security: the award of such provisions to the pensioner, which allow them to live with dignity, by securing the conditions for their physical well-being (nutrition, clothing, housing, basic home equipment, heat, sanitation and medical treatment of all levels), as well as their participation in social life in

Following the above developments, a massive recourse of interested parties to the competent courts is anticipated from now on, aiming to the return of the illegally curtailed amounts.

 

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