Supreme Court accepts Finance Ministry's appeal against cleaners

Initial Athens court decision vindicated cleaning staff – Ministry has refused to implement order

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Supreme Court accepts Finance Ministry

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Ministry of Finances and against cleaning staff in a bitter judicial battle. The Ministry had requested a suspension of an earlier Athens court decision which vindicated the suspended cleaners and ordered their reappointment.

Essentially this means that the 397 suspended cleaners, who are currently camped outside the Ministry of Finances, will not see a solution to their serious problem before the 23rd of September, when the Ministry's motion to cancel the court order is thoroughly discussed.

Curiously, the Supreme Court has neglected to include the rationale behind its decision in the two-page court order decision that it issued at noon, despite being legally obligated to do so in court order suspensions.

The suspended cleaners have been camped outside the Ministry of Finances and have consistently demand that they are reinstated. Tensions have run high, as indicated by shocking video footage from a demonstration on Wednesday showing a riot police officer assaulting a 60-year-old woman

The Ministry has claimed that the Athens court had no jurisdiction to rule on the case, arguing that it was case to be handled by administrative courts, while the abolition of their position was in the public interest, since the reduction of the public sector improves finances.

Furthermore of the Ministry claimed that the State is spending 209,000 euros a month on the case (without actually further elaborating on this claim) and that should the cleaner be reappointed, the previous contract will come into affect. 

The cleaning staff’s defense team on the other hand argues that the suspension period of their clients was extended by three months and they were dismissed without any compensation. They have also refuted claim that the reappointment of the cleaners will be detrimental for the State and criticized the Ministry for its “unacceptable motion”, arguing that it is only permitted against final rulings.