Thessaloniki court rules scrapping of holiday bonuses unconstitutional

Thessaloniki court rules scrapping of holiday bonuses unconstitutional

A magistrates court in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday ruled in favor of six municipal workers who challenged the constitutionality of a measure scrapping holiday bonuses.

The measure was passed in 2013 and abolished a special bonus paid out to all municipal workers on the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays, in line with a bailout measure imposed earlier in the Greek crisis for all public sector workers.

In its decision, the court said the measure violates the Greek Constitution because it deprives low-wage earners of the right to an acceptable and dignified standard of living. It also cited decisions from Greece's Council of State and the European Court of Human Rights, indicating that those bodies had ruled against “any measure at any cost” within the framework of a prolonged economic crisis.

The six municipal workers were granted damages of 2,000 euros (plus 6 percent interest) for the bonuses they missed out on in 2016 and 2017 only, as the statue of limitations with regard to the previous years has expired.

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