Judges step up wage dispute

The government could find itself facing a 250-million-euro lawsuit after court sources revealed yesterday that judges and prosecutors have launched legal action to recover what they claim are unpaid wages from the last three years. Attorneys petitioned the State Legal Council, citing an article of the Greek Constitution which states that no civil servant can earn more than judges. Based on this, judges and prosecutors are claiming that their salaries for 2002, 2003 and 2004 should have been adjusted upward. The Greek president, for example, earns a basic monthly wage of some 26,000 euros a month, while the prime minister makes 7,000 euros and MPs earn just under 5,000 euros a month. Appeal court judges earn about 3,800 euros and, as a result, are demanding a total of 121,000 euros in unpaid wages, while top judges want the state to pay them some 201,000 euros for the years in question.