ATHENS – The Union of Greek Prosecutors said the New Democracy government's decision to keep courts going during a second COVID-19 lockdown has put public health at risk, especially staff and people needing to be there.
In a letter to the ministers of justice and health, Kostas Τsiaras and Vasilis Kikilias, the prosecutors – without explaining why they waited so long with the lockdown beginning Nov. 7 – said the courts shouldn't be operating.
They said the presence at courthouses of administrative staff and members of the public “who were not completely disciplined in the instructions of the relevant ministries” often resulted in overcrowding, amplifying the risk, reported Kathimerini on their complaint.
But while the courts are open, people are reluctant to show up and many requested and received continuances of criminal cases because they don't want to take the risk of being in a public gathering place.
During a first lockdown in the spring that lasted 10 weeks the courts were often on skeleton staff and operations were limited while during the second they are technically open while most other businesses remain closed until at least Dec. 1.