Ex-MPs re­think­ing pen­sion suits

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The out­rage ex­pressed by the pub­lic and politi­cians at the rev­e­la­tion ear­lier this week that some 800 for­mer MPs are su­ing for retroac­tive pen­sions ap­pears to have prompted some of the re­tired deputies to con­sider drop­ping their claims.

Sources at the Court of Au­dit, which is han­dling the legal ac­tion brought by the ex-MPs or their sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives, said that the first suit was dropped yes­ter­day. The widow of for­mer law­maker Spy­ros Plaskovi­tis lodged a re­quest for the case to stop.

Court sources added that a num­ber of other for­mer mem­bers of Par­lia­ment or their rel­a­tives called court of­fi­cials yes­ter­day to in­quire about the process for halt­ing their legal quest.

Florentia Kaldi, a judge at the Court of Au­dit, told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on Tues­day that some 800 lawmakers who served be­tween 2003 and 2008 have sued. Their ac­tion is based on a 1975 law link­ing MPs’ salaries to that the head of the Supreme Court re­ceives. At var­i­ous times since then, deputies’ salaries have been in­creased, which has re­sulted in for­mer MPs who re­ceive a pen­sion hav­ing their re­tire­ment pay in­creased. How­ever, since 2003, par­lia­ments have voted not to raise salaries.

In 2008, a for­mer deputy sued for back pen­sion pay and won. Since then five more re­tired law­mak- ers have won their cases. The news has caused em­bar­rass­ment for the coun­try’s politi­cians at a time of ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment and pub­lic spend­ing cuts.

It prompted all po­lit­i­cal par­ties to crit­i­cize the suits and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou to sug­gest that he would pass a law pre­vent­ing the claimants from ever col­lect­ing the money.

Sources said that the Court of Au­dit is cur­rently in the process of rul­ing on the cases of four ex-MPs and three sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives of for­mer deputies. Ju­di­cial sources told Kathimerini that the sim­plest way of solv­ing the em­bar­rass­ment would be for all re­tired lawmakers to drop their suits.

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