Court deems tax on Greek university staff benefit unconstitutional

A few days after the leaking to the press of a court ruling deeming wage cuts to military and security services staff as unconstitutional, another decision by the country's highest administrative court decided that a tax on benefits given to university staff is also illegal, judicial sources have revealed.

According to the latest ruling by the Council of State, the taxes paid by university staff on their benefits since July 2002 should be reimbursed.

The benefit in question was paid to university staff for "the creation and maintenance of libraries and participation in conferences."

Finance Ministry officials refused to comment on the court's decision but according to sources the cost of returning the taxes paid on the benefits over the past 11 years is expected to be "a few million euros."

There are fears in the ranks of the government, however, that the approval of a series of court appeals would demand the return of revenue that the state is not in a position to raise. Appeals that are currently pending in the courts include those by civil servants complaining about cuts to the lump sum they are paid on retirement.