Judicial system in for boost

Two billion euros will be spent on building new prisons and improving court facilities in a bid to improve the efficiency of the judicial system, Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said yesterday. Hatzigakis said the funding has been secured in cooperation with Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis for improvements to be made to the justice system but did not give any specific time frame. «The efficiency of the Justice Ministry relies on speeding up the administration of justice, boosting human resources, securing decent conditions in detention areas and respecting individual and social rights,» said the minister. Conditions in Greek prisons have been described as dismal, even inhuman. According to a report released by the Piraeus Prefecture earlier this year, conditions at Korydallos Prison in Athens failed to meet proper hygiene standards. The report said that almost 2,000 inmates are being kept in cramped conditions at Korydallos and that three or four inmates are kept in each cell, measuring between 10 and 12 square meters each.