Lawyers’ strike leaves some 300,000 legal cases pending

Lawyers’ strike leaves some 300,000 legal cases pending

An anti-austerity strike by the country’s lawyers, which is in its fifth month, has paralyzed Greek courts, with some 300,000 cases pending and court officials expressing concern about how to deal with the backlog once the lawyers return to work.

According to Athens Court of First Instance head Spyros Georgouleas, the 300,000 pending cases will take between seven and 10 years to plow through. Asked about how the overloaded court system would cope once the strike ends, he said, “I don’t even want to think about it.”

Apart from freezing civil cases, the strike has also halted several major corruption trials that could bring much-needed revenue to state coffers, including the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal, the Proton Bank trial and the Vatopedi land swap affair.

On Friday, the Athens Bar Association gave permission to the lawyers involved in the trial of neofascist party Golden Dawn to proceed with the trial on Wednesday.

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