Damages sought for exit ban

A Greek man who, due to a bureaucratic mix-up, was stopped as he was about to board a ferry for a holiday abroad and refused permission to leave the country, has sued the State, seeking sizeable damages, court sources said yesterday. The plaintiff, whose name was not made public, has demanded 10,680 euros in compensation for his summer 2002 ordeal, claiming the travel ban infringed his constitutional right to freedom of movement and amounted to deeply insulting and wounding behaviour. The damages include the 680-euro deposit he had paid – and subsequently lost – for the holiday, on which he was to have been accompanied by his family. He was prevented from leaving Greece on the basis of a 1995 order from the military, on the grounds that he had failed to turn up for obligatory military service. But the plaintiff claims to have been acquitted of the charges – having been medically unfit to serve at the time – and to have done his national service a year later. However, the military failed to pass this on to civilian authorities.