Greece's judges and prosecutors may be moving toward a work slowdown or "white strike" in protest against government plans to cut a bonus for faster handling of cases and a library benefit. This was suggested by Supreme Court Judge Haralambos Athanassiou, the president of the Judges and Prosecutors' Union in an interview with the ANA-MPA on Sunday.
During this, Athanassiou accused the government's economic team of passing measures that attempted to undermine and abolish the independence of Greek justice.
"During the 'white' strike the judges will reduce the number of rulings issued each day by 75 percent, leading to exasperation of the public, offences becoming statute-barred and the country's condemnation for delays in administering justice," he said.
The bonus for faster completion of cases is set at 870 euros a month and has already been reduced by 30 percent, as has the library benefit that varies according to years in service and the rank of the judicial official.
Athanassiou accused the government of consistently undermining judges and warned that, if judges were converted into civil servants and the equal status of the three branches of power abolished, the state itself would be abolished.
"The result of this will be the non-existence of independent justice but instead a justice that is manipulated by the desires of the given executive authority of the time," he said.
Noting a divergence of opinion on this issue among members of the government, he called on the government to decide whether it wanted judges that were independent, equal and of equal status with the functionaries of other two branches, or whether it did not