Judges pressure Greek coalition for their back pay

Greece’s judges wrote to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday to demand some 100 million euros in back pay, saying that they want the wages to be paid before the end of the year.

Judges had their salaries cut in 2012 but after a legal battle, which they won earlier this year, the government restored their wages to the same level as two years ago. However, the court ruling also ordered the coalition to forward the judges the wages they had missed out on during this period.

The government, which is under pressure to meet the troika’s fiscal targets, has so far refrained from making this payment. In their letter the five unions representing the country’s judges asked for the government to issue a joint ministerial decision, paving the way for the outstanding amount, some 100 million euros, to be paid in two equal installments before the end of the year.

“We ask for there to be an urgent meeting between the prime minister, the finance minister and the judges’ unions,” the letter said.

The coalition is also under pressure to act on a court ruling ordering it to restore the wages of members of the armed forces and emergency services. It has so far been reluctant to do so because it would cost it around 500 million euros. Instead, the government has sought to buy some time while it finds ways to make the equivalent savings needed so fiscal targets are not missed.

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