Kanzlei Rath Thessaloniki

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Kanzlei Rath Thessaloniki

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Mediation in Greece

New developments 2018

 

 

On the Current State of Mediation in Greece

(April 2018)

As an efficient and affordable remedy, but most of all as an alternative, which is much faster and more confidential when compared to the procedures before the slow and overburdened civil courts, legal MEDIATION is available in Greece, as it is in other countries. MEDIATION has been codified in Greece for over 5 years, but the relevant law has not yet become widely known to the general public and perhaps not even much to some lawyers. Slowly but steadily, references to MEDIATION and its great advantages are made in the Greek media and on Greek websites.

The topic of MEDIATION has been dealt with in some informative TV shows (Greek) and on the website Raftopoulou by colleague Mrs E. Raftopoulou. The Ministry of Justice has also created its own portal under Diamesolavisi (Greek).

Existing scepticism about whether this remedy is indeed able to settle legal disputes should disappear after the implementation of mediation:

Most recently, Law 4512/2018 was passed, according to which an effort should be made to settle the dispute through mediation before bringing the case to a civil court. However, the obligation applies only to a few categories of cases such as: disputes between neighbours, some family disputes, medical liability, trademark disputes, fees, etc. This particular law will begin to apply from September 2018 onwards.
The situation is changing day by day, as legal disputes begin to be settled through mediation, i.e. without involvement of the courts. Any reluctance should disappear through the use of mediation in actual practice - especially in the course of the modernisation of the Greek judicial system, as urgently required by the international creditors of this over-indebted country. As part of an EU-funded taskforce program, a team of consultants for the modernisation of the Greek courts was sent to Greece including a judge from Austria.

"Kokkina Dáneia - Red loans"

Greek banks are known to hold a mass of non-performing loans, which were an important cause for the current credit crunch: without loans, companies often can´t make investments and, hence, economic growth is prevented. Therefore, the EU banking supervisory authority expressly insists that the bulk of non-performing loans in Greece are to be rapidly reduced.

Since autumn 2017, the new Law no 4469/2017 provides for the out-of-court settlement of company debts. For this procedure, the Ministry uses accredited mediators in the particular role of "Coordinator" between debtors and creditors. Already in the last summer, 450 such Coordinators were appointed across Greece, 50 of which in Central Macedonia.

As of the end of 2017, the first out-of-court settlements have been published. With the new "out-of-court debt settlement mechanism", companies can regulate their debts with Tax Authorities, Social Security Funds, Banks and individual creditors. Whilst this cannot strictly be called voluntary mediation, it is indeed a different, special procedure provided for by specific law, which will apply until the end of 2018.

New provisions in the revised Code of Civil Procedure

The civil procedure, which has been largely reformed just over a year ago ("Greek Civil Procedure Code"), now provides for a voluntary judicial mediation in Article 214 b (in-court mediation) and some cases have been settled by mediation, including by judges in Thessaloniki. Moreover, Article 214 c of the Greek Civil Procedure Code provides that the trial judge may, according to the particular circumstances of the individual case, propose the execution of out-of-court mediation to the parties. But these sections have not yet led to a significant relief of the courts.

Our law-office supports ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution - in “win-win situations” to achieve solutions to disputes in an efficient, quick and confidential manner – and, where necessary, we also cooperate with Greek colleagues, who are both on the lists of mediators and "Coordinators" of the Athens Ministry of Justice. Please feel free to contact us.

 

Counseler Rath

For more information about Kanzlei Rath Thessaloniki (in German),

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Olympou 28
GR-55236 Panorama GREECE
55236 Panorama / Thessaloniki
GREECE

 

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Our office is located in Panorama, a suburb of Salonika in Northern Greece, just 30 minutes by car from Salonika International Airport.

 

 

 

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Some scripts in German concerning legal proceedings in Greece you can find on our German website. Don't hesitate to call us at 0030-2310-342.860 or send us an e-mail at info(at)ra-rath.com for your comments or further questions.

OFFICE HOURS

Our operation hours are the usual business hours. In Greece this includes 5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. on Monday to Friday.  Please notice that Greece is one resp. two hours ahead from Central Europe (Paris,Rome, Berlin +1  / London + 2) and there are seven hours to add to the time of New York (Los Angeles + 10 hrs) whereas Sydney is 10 hours on ahead. So you may find contact via e-mail convenient.

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