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Greek Council Slams Finance Ministry on Asset Seizures

Greek-counsil-of-state-CoSThe Greek Council of State (CoS) has again questioned the decisions of the country’s Finance Ministry, this time deeming as unconstitutional the practice of seizing debtors’ assets without notice.
The new law on foreclosures and seizure of debtors’ assets, passed last year by the Greek parliament, specifies that tax offices or insurance funds have the authority to seize funds from bank accounts against debts to the state without informing the account holder. The new law also mentions that any prior seizure notice is mandatory only in the case of real estate foreclosure.
The Greek Supreme Administrative Court based its decision (366/2014) on the interpretation of the provisions found in Article 30 of the Greek Public Revenues Collection Code and Article 20 of the Greek Constitution. The CoS mentioned that seizure notes must be served to the debtor prior to any actions being taken against him, in order for the served person to initiate an appropriate response to the notice, either by settling his debt or postponing the execution of the seizure. The CoS’ decision also clarified that any failure to follow the above procedure will result in the annulment of the seizure, thus appealing against the common practice of the Finance Ministry to seize funds of state debtor without informing them in advance.

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