Outspoken minister slams Council of State ‘pothen esches’ ruling

Outspoken minister slams Council of State ‘pothen esches’ ruling

The Greek initials of the country’s highest administrative court, STE, stand for “salvation of the elite,” Health Minister Pavlos Polakis wrote in a sarcastic social media post on Monday night.

The outspoken SYRIZA minister was reacting to a decision on Monday by the Council of State deeming decisions by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Justice Minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos relating to asset source declarations (“pothen esches”) submitted by civil servants and other professionals as illegal and void.

Among the provisions the court objected to were the obligation to declare cash totaling more than 15,000 euros and mobile assets worth in excess of 30,000 euros, the absence of a time limit for inspections of pothen esches declarations, and the obligation to declare the assets of a partner with whom one has signed a cohabitation pact (married couples are obliged to declare each other’s assets).

“Can you imagine what kind of decision the STE would have reached if Betty had an offshore company, or if Pappas, myself or Spirtzis had safety deposit boxes?” Polakis wrote, referring to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s wife Betty Batziana, Minister of State Nikos Pappas and Alternate Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis.

“Following its decision, I believe that the initial STE clearly now stand for Salvation of The Elite,” Polakis added.