Minister, judges exchange barbs

The feud between Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias and judges at the country’s top administrative court grew nastier yesterday, with barbs flying in both directions. The association of Council of State judges expressed «surprise at the tone» of Souflias’s remarks on Tuesday, when the minister accused court members of infringing on the jurisdiction of the legislative branch by blocking key development projects. Souflias was annoyed at a decision – on environmental grounds – by the court last week to kill the controversial Acheloos River diversion project, on whose completion he has staked much political capital. The judges’ association said Souflias «appeared to attack the court.» Former senior Council of State judge Michalis Dekleris said the minister should stick to obeying court decisions, «and not engage in criticism.» Souflias retorted that he «will not accept orders and lessons» from Dekleris.

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