Judges dodge holy blessing

More than 100 high-ranking judges snubbed the head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Christodoulos, yesterday as he blessed the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, at the start of the new judicial year. The head of the court’s judges’ union, Constantinos Kousoulis, had said on Thursday that many of the justices felt it was inappropriate for a religious ceremony to take place, as it might compromise the neutrality the court has to maintain. Some 120 judges did not attend the blessing conducted by Christodoulos. Only 30 justices were present, sources said, but numbers were boosted by a number of retired judges and court employees. The president of the Council of State, Giorgios Panayiotopoulos, said the blessing was a «traditional service» and accused the absent judges of twisting its meaning.