The heads of Greece's top courts have hit back at criticism regarding their meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday, which began with the premier saying that the judiciary would not experience any further wage cuts and that those at the “top of the pyramid” would see their salaries increase.
New Democracy immediately said the meeting suggested that an “exchange” was taking place between the judiciary and the government. In their statement yesterday, the judges (the heads of the Supreme Court, Council of Audit and the Council of State) insisted that there was nothing suspicious about the talks they held with the prime minister.
“The effort of some political parties to embroil the instruments of justice in political games is unacceptable and must stop,” they said.
The leading judges argued that their overriding duty is to protect the standing and independence of the judiciary and that any discussion about wages was conducted in this context.
They insisted that the salaries in the justice system were just one of the subjects discussed during the meeting.
The justices also reacted to criticism aimed at Council of State president Nikos Sakelariou after he suggested that courts should keep their “finger on society's pulse.” “The heads of the top courts, and all judicial officials in general, do not need instructions from anyone to apply the laws and the constitution, although this does not mean that they are cut off from society and its problems.”
The judges also pointed out that they also held a meeting with New Democracy MP Antonis Samaras when he was prime minister.