Enforcement against the state assets of Greece (against public sector)
Purpose. The aim of this article is the brief description of the legal environment in connection with the enforcement against the state assets of Greece. At the very beginning of the article it is considered within the frames of historical aspects; the next part is devoted to the current situation, focusing on the specific issues, with regard to the enforcement measures against the state today. It is noted that in a modern, democratic and constitutionally-oriented state, the possibility of enforcement against the state assets is obvious, not only in relation to the internal legal order but also within the European legal framework. The situation in Greece has developed similarly, though at first the enforcement against the state assets was legally excluded.
Methods. According to the relevant literature there was no possibility to change this situation, especially during the period of military dictatorship. Only after the state has found the path to the European integration, other opinions could be heard and supported by the relevant decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and even approved at the constitutional level since 2002.
Results. The relevant constitutional postulate was established in the Law on Constitutional Implementation, which in principle also referred to the general relevant provisions of the Civil Procedural Code of Greece in case of enforcement against the state assets; but not without introducing many important exemptions in favor of the state, which led to a privileged position of this “party”. Furthermore, the literature as well as the case law, especially that of the Supreme Courts, tried either to interpret these exemptions restrictively or to abolish them by means of contra legem interpretation. Besides the correction of inequalities or quasi “state privileges” in the enforcement proceedings, the role of jurisprudence is to resolve further legal issues and provide correct and constitutional definition of contextually unclear terms mentioned in the law, which clarify the fundamental issues on determining the assets of the state which can/may be enforced for the satisfaction of private, judicially recognized claims.
Conclusions. The author of the article comes to the conclusion that not only the declaratory recognition of the possibility of performing the enforcement against the state assets but also, and above all, the “normalization” of this procedure, without recognition of special privileges, “says much about the rule of law and democracy in one state”; Greece is certainly neither in the last nor in the first place.
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