A total of 55 senior officers, bearing the rank of colonel and brigadier general, have been demobilized early in the last three years by decision of the Supreme Crisis Council. Specifically, 21 officers were judged to have successfully completed their service, in 2019, 15 officers in 2020 and 19 officers in 2021. According to information from “P”, for the year 2022, at least another 15 early demobilizations are planned in the upper echelons of the Armed Forces. The Supreme Crisis Council is expected to meet by the end of the month to make the relevant decisions. The President of the Council is the Minister of Defense and it is attended by two other ministers appointed by the Council of Ministers. The rapporteur is the head of EF.
According to the Ministry of Defense, out of the 55 senior officers who were demobilized prematurely, they appealed to the court, in order to annul the controversial decisions of the Crisis Council, a total of 32 senior officers. So far, four cases have been heard, two appeals by officers and two requests for an interim decree, and only in one case, that of Colonel Andreas Zonias, was the decision of the Supreme Crisis Council annulled, by which he was judged to have successfully terminated his service. The Administrative Court in its decision, dated 8/12/2020, stigmatized the fact that the Crisis Council demobilized Colonel Andreas Zonias invoking the public interest, without providing specific facts and personal data that justify this decision. Following his acquittal by the Administrative Court, Mr. Zonias was informed by the GEEF that he would return to active action. On the eve of his return to the Armed Forces, he was informed by telephone that the Supreme Crisis Council had met and demobilized him again. The result was that Mr. Zonias appealed again to justice.
Compensation of millions
On the occasion of the annulment court decision issued for Colonel Andreas Zonias, the Audit Office of the Republic requested written explanations from the Ministry of Defense for the actions it intends to take in order to prevent the occurrence of similar cases in the future. Recalling that the state has in the recent past paid millions of euros in compensation, as all but one successful decisions to cancel services were overturned by the Supreme Court, resulting in the retroactive payment of the salaries of 60 officers (50 captains and 10 colonels) retroactively for six consecutive years. windowed by EF. In addition, both the Ministry of Defense and the Legal Service incurred significant administrative costs, with the Republic also paying the court costs. At the same time, problems were caused in the hierarchical structure of the Armed Forces due to the retroactive appointment and promotion of the affected officers. Both the 60 officers and Mr. Zonias, which is the most recent case, were demobilized prematurely invoking the public interest without any documentation.
The Ministry of Defense, with its recent reply letter to the Audit Office, is reassuring. Assuring that there is no question of clarity of the specific legislative provision or objectivity of the measurable criteria, which were instituted in 2016, and on the basis of which the competent Judicial Council judges the officers as successfully terminated their service. The Ministry of Defense, referring to the case of Zonia, admits that the current legislation was not implemented correctly. In order to avoid annulment decisions in the future, the conclusions of the Administrative Court in the above decision will be taken into account when justifying the crises, the Ministry of Defense concludes.