Judges, prosecutors call for changes in selection of top court officials


Greece’s union of judges and prosecutors on Thursday reiterated its call for a change in the procedure for selecting the leadership of the country’s top courts, saying it should also be consulted on the appointments.

The call came after the government announced on Tuesday the appointment of Iosif Tsalaganidis as president of the Supreme Court and Vassilis Pliotas as its chief prosecutor.

The union said a provision in the Constitution which grants exclusive power to the cabinet over the selection should be amended.

“As long as this way of selection remains in place, political disputes will be repeated whenever a vacancy appears and this will call into question the credibility of democratic institutions,” the union said.

The senior posts in the Supreme Court have been vacant since June 30, when President Prokopis Pavlopoulos refused to sign a decree for the appointment of Irini Kalou and Dimitra Kokotini as president and chief prosecutor, respectively.

Both judicial officials had been selected by the previous SYRIZA administration, after former premier Alexis Tsipras had called for elections.

The move had been slammed by the then main opposition, New Democracy, which argued that the government lacked the legitimacy to make such selections during the campaign period.