Deputies feather their own nests

At a time when teachers are taking to the streets to demand a better standard of living, Greek judges appear to have found a more efficient way to raise their pensions – they simply reach out to their colleagues who have the authority to decide on increases in judges’ salaries. At a time when the government acknowledges the fairness of teachers’ claims – which are hard to meet due to the poor state of the economy, as the prime minister has made clear to them – Greek deputies are giving their pensions a tonic through the back door by making laws that further their own interests. People may hold different views about the demands of judges and deputies which were served by their colleagues. But that is not the heart of the issue. Nor is it the poor state of the economy. The problem rather is that in a society that claims to be governed by the rule of law, no one should be able to feather their own nest. That is, no one should decide on their own salary or pension for the simple reason that they will be biased. A fundamental principle of justice is the objectivity of the judges. A judge cannot rule on a case involving a close friend or relative but must instead exempt himself from the trial. That applies to the case of the court, which raised the pensions of judges to 880.40 euros. Sound as the review may be, this decision will be a blow to the country’s judicial system. Just like Caesar’s wife, judges must be above suspicion.