Council of State dismisses appeal against union decision to resume foreclosure auctions

A section of the Council of State (CoS), Greece’s top administrative court, in a ruling on Tuesday, dismissed an attempt to block the resumption of auctions of foreclosed properties by Greece’s notaries. The court rejected an appeal by a notary, asking it to suspend a decision of the notaries’ union to resume conducting auctions.

The associations representing notaries in Athens, Piraeus and the islands of the Aegean and the Dodecanese had decided in a meeting of their general assembly in late November to resume the auctions, following weeks of abstention due to threats they received from anti-establishment groups.

The appeal to block the decision was submitted by Lavrio notary Eleni Karageorgopoulou, who claimed, through her lawyers Zoi Konstantopoulou and Konstantinos Zikoyiannis, that the November decision was unconstitutional and illegal. She also claimed that the auctions in question are conducted in opaque circumstances – due to the clashes that break out in court rooms.

The CoS judges said that the claim of opaqueness does not justify granting the suspension, since it does not appear that irreparable damage is caused to her, nor does it prove any such claim for future auctions. Concerning the claim of moral damages vaguely invoked by Karageorgopoulou, the judges ruled that it is not sufficient to accept her appeal because it can be redressed in the case that her main application for annulment succeeds.

The main appeal for the annulment of the union’s decision will be discussed by the top court’s plenum on 5 October 2018.