Two Greeks, a lawyer and an engineer, appealed against the Referendum at the country’s highest court the State Council on Wednesday. The two civilians seek to void as “unconstitutional and illegal” the Referendum on upcoming Sunday.
Tomorrow, they will submit to the State Council an application through which they will seek an interim order or decision of the Department of Suspension that will “freezes” the referendum.
According to latest information, the plenary of the State Council is to meet at 12:00 noon on Friday to decide on the appeal. The discussion will be open and the StC is expected to rule on the same day.
Reasoning of the appeal
In their application, the two civilians argue that both the act of Cabinet for the referendum proposal and the Presidential Decree on the announcement of the referendum, are contrary to Article 44 of the Constitution and the Law 4023/2011 concerning the rules for holding referendums .
At the same time, they stress that the constitutional requirements may not allow referendum questions that “go back to the management of fiscal policy and address issues arising out of or directly affect (adversely or favorably) the financial situation of the state.”
Moreover, they stress that the documents of the three international organizations (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) of the Euro group of 25/06/2015, have “clear and almost exclusive economic object and direct budgetary item in the functioning of the state and the financial sufficiency to address government spending “and therefore the referendum is illegal, as “it violated the provisions of the Constitution. ”
Additionally, the two civilians indicate in their application to the Supreme Court that the law in the conduct of referendums (law 4023/2011)s being violated as the question asked is not worded clearly and briefly -as required by nomos- but it is complex, described with specific technical and scientific terms that are ‘impossible to be understood by the overwhelming majority of voters. ”
At the same time, they note that it is illegal because of the sustained time of the referendum, which has the effect of making it impossible to inform the electorate. Another legal reason for cancellation of the referendum cited is that it is illegal to conduct the referendum process after the controversial Presidential Decree no published texts of international organizations in the Euro group of 25.6.2015.
Furthermore, they state that the act of Cabinet and the Presidential Decree, is void, as issued “misuse of powers”, as issued to “order completely different from that for which the institution of the constitutional referendum and irrelevant to the concept of predicted national question, as accepted by the science and Consensus’ (more details in Greek here)
Despite the creditor’s pressure to cancel the Referendum but on political and ideological reasons, PM Alexis Tsipras announced earlier today that the Referendum stands and called on Greeks to vote No.
Greece’s creditors took also the help of the Council of Europe to rule per telephone on the Greek Referendum.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press that international standards recommend that a referendum be held with at least two weeks’ notice to allow sufficient time for discussion, with a clear question put to the people and with international observers monitoring the vote.
The vote “has been called on such a short notice, that this in itself is a major problem,” Jagland said Wednesday by phone from Lisbon, Portugal. “And also the fact that the questions that are put to the people … are not very clear.”
Greece’s referendum on whether to accept creditor demands in return for bailout funds was called at 1 am last Friday.
KTG admits it: the question on the Referendum is very complicated and it is written in Greek and in English for the titles of creditors’ proposal. The text on the ballot reads:
SHOULD BE ACCEPTED THE AGREEMENT DRAFT TABLED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AT THE EUROGROUP OF 25.o6. 2015 AND CONSISTS OF TWO PARTS WHICH CONSTITUTE THEIR UNIFIED PROPOSALS:
THE FIRST PART IS ENTITLED: REFORMS FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE CURRENT PROGRAM AND BEYOND AND THE SECOND IS PRELIMINARY DEBT SUSTAINABILITY ANALYSIS.
NO is the first option for the voter, YES the second.
The ballot has been published together with a 26-page long document containing the creditors’ proposal in Greek.
PS I did not bothered to read 26-pages creditors’ proposal. Neither will the granny in the village do. But based on the recent discussion, debate, information flow on creditor’s pressure and games and EU/ECB/IMF proposals, eurogroup in and eurogroup out,I heard by several Greeks that they could vote MAYBE because they would agree with some measures like taxing the rich. However they categorically disagree with further pensions cuts even in form of raised contributions, scrapping the poverty allowance for the low pensioners or VAT hikes of 23% even not some food items.
For the majority of Greeks tired of corruption and clientelism and preferential treatment of certain society groups, Austerity measures were never Black & White. They had 5000 shades of grey, the creditors never tried to understand.
PS you wonder who are these two men who appealed to State of Council? I suppose they are “concerned citizens”… Ex PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos had raised the issue of the constitutionality of the Referendum right away.