Judges slam gov’t over reactions to TV license ruling

27 October 2016
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Greece’s Union of Judges and Prosecutors on Thursday issued a terse statement slamming comments made the previous night by government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili in response to a ruling by the country’s highest administrative court deeming a recent TV license auction unconstitutional.

“Justice working in any another direction would be dangerous for our democracy and the rule of law,” the union said in its announcement, responding to comments by Gerovassili that “nothing will stand in the way of the government’s determination to bring some order to the radio and television landscape.”

The announcement also took issue with a comment made by Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, who said on his Facebook page that the Council of State’s ruling was tantamount to a “judicial coup,” saying that the union cannot understand the purpose of the government’s reaction to the ruling or why it is questioning the court’s institutional authority to judge whether laws are in line with the Greek Constitution.

“Yesterday’s verdict by the Council of State… has once more prompted unprovoked attacks by the government against the justice system, but this is the first time they have been so intense and such a clear effort to involve the justice system and its officials in a political controversy,” the union’s statement reads.

“It is the basic and fundamental duty of the judges to weigh cases on the basis of the Constitution without taking specific interests and political ambitions into consideration. Justice working in any another direction would be dangerous for our democracy and for the rule of law,” the union added.

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