Gov’t fears squeeze from likely lump sum ruling
In the wake of a leaked decision by the Council of State deeming wage cuts imposed on members of the armed forces and emergency services to be unconstitutional, the court is considering appeals by other groups of civil servants against reductions to the lump sums they receive on retirement, Kathimerini understands.
The appeals being weighed by the country’s highest administrative court have been lodged by civil servants but also by social security funds, according to sources.
The Finance Ministry is already scrambling to find some 500 million euros in revenue to return withheld wages to military and security services staff ahead of a formal court verdict on that case. Although judicial sources indicated last week that military and security services staff were being regarded as a special case that would not set a legal precedent, it appeared that more exemptions might be granted. This would oblige the government to find more revenue even as the troika pushes for spending cuts.
Unease in the government has been fueled by a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights according to which a retirement lump sum constitutes part of a pensioner’s personal wealth, as it has been generated through the latter’s contributions, and that any reduction to that sum is a violation of their rights.