NEWS

Greece names new top judge

The changing of the guard at the top of the Greek judiciary led to Vassilis Nikopoulos being named the new Supreme Court president yesterday as the government also approved the appointments of six court vice presidents. The promotions were rubber-stamped by ministers at a meeting yesterday. Nikopoulos will serve as the country’s top judge for the next two years. He has been a judge since 1968 and has served as a vice president on the Supreme Court since last year. The new Supreme Court president promised yesterday to clear corrupt and inept officials from the judiciary. Nikopoulos replaces Romylos Kedikoglou, who was appointed in July 2005 amid an effort to rid the judiciary of corruption. However, the judicial system still finds itself combating trial fixing and the government hopes yesterday’s changes will help to renew efforts to stamp out corruption. «Our choices were made based on merit and with the aim of continuing the cleanup and modernization efforts in the justice system,» said Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras. «I am sure that the new leadership of the judiciary, with the limitless assistance of the state, will respond to the current needs and hopes of the Greek people,» he added. The new head of the Supreme Court will be joined by the six vice presidents also appointed yesterday. However, the spotlight will be on Nikopoulos as his predecessor left under something of a cloud due to allegations of corruption that were leveled at him by the main opposition PASOK party. The government had dismissed the claims as mudslinging by the opposition.