Greek lawyers strike leaves 300,000 cases in limbo

An ongoing strike by Greece's legal professions against the government's austerity measures has left 300,000 cases pending, Athens-based newspaper Kathimerini reported on Sunday.

The backlog could take up to 10 years to clear, the newspaper cited Athens Court of First Instance head Spyros Georgouleas as saying. "I don't even want to think about it," he said.

The strike is not just hitting civil cases, but also criminal cases involving white-collar crime that could improve the state's finances. One such case that has been put on ice is a 70-million-euro (78.6-million-dollar) bribery case involving a manager for the German company Siemens.

Greece's lawyers are in the fifth month of strike action prompted by government cuts that hit them especially hard. The Athens Lawyers' Union say that changes mean that a young lawyer earning just 20,000 euros a year would have to pay 14,000 euros in pension contributions, health insurance and taxes.

The umbrella organization for all of Greece's lawyers said the austerity measures had raised pension and health insurance contributions for self-employed people by 223 per cent.

Last update: Sun, 22/05/2016 - 19:02

More from Europe

More explosives found in Germany following bomb-making arrest

Following the arrest of a suspected bomb maker in Germany's Lower Rhine region, police said they found explosives in...

EU starts "new era" of NATO cooperation amid uncertainty over Trump

NATO foreign ministers signed a deal on closer collaboration with the European Union on Tuesday, with the bloc's top...

Merkel re-elected party leader after toughening tone on refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have edged to the right with plans for a tougher...

Greek court extradites some Turkish officers, others to stay

A court in Athens has agreed to a request from Turkey to extradite three military officers accused of plotting to...

Despite defeat, Austrian far-right aims for big vote take in 2017

This weekend's loss in the Austrian presidential election will not deter Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe)...