Dozens of MPs seek wage hikes

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Just a few days af­ter it emerged that sev­eral for­mer MPs su­ing for retroac­tive pen­sions had dropped their claims fol­low­ing a pub­lic and po­lit­i­cal out­cry at such claims be­ing made dur­ing a pe­riod of aus­ter­ity, Kathimerini has learned that dozens more deputies have lodged legal ap­peals over the past few years seek­ing salary hikes.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, a to­tal of 284 legal suits have been lodged with the Athens Court of First In­stance since 2008 by MPs de­mand­ing that their salaries be in­creased to the level of Supreme Court judges. The value of each deputy’s claims is in the re­gion of 250,000 eu­ros, the sources said. The over­all amount sought is es­ti­mated at 70 mil­lion eu­ros.

The MPs’ ac­tion is based on a 1975 law link­ing their salaries to those re­ceived by Supreme Court judges.

The for­mer MPs who lodged their suits for retroac­tive pen­sions in­voked the same law.

Last week, Florentia Kaldi, a judge at the Court of Au­dit, told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee that some 800 lawmakers who served be­tween 2003 and 2008 had sued for retroac­tive pen­sions. The to­tal value of the pen­sions sought is es­ti­mated at be­tween 80 and 100 mil­lion eu­ros.

News about the claims last week elicited crit­i­cism from all po­lit­i­cal par­ties and prompted Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou to sug­gest that he would pass a law pre­vent­ing the claimants from ever col­lect­ing the money.

Ju­di­cial sources have in­di­cated how­ever that such a re­form, if passed, would be dif­fi­cult to en­force be­cause the law would not be able to re­voke a ju­di­cial de­ci­sion. They say the sim­plest way of solv­ing the dilemma would be for all re­tired lawmakers to drop their suits, which a hand­ful have done since last week.

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