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Greece

Author: Alexandra Mikroulea and Alsarif Satti

IV. Sectoral Collective Redress Mechanisms

The only genuine collective redress mechanism under Greek law, is provided in the area of Consumer Protection (Law 2251/1994). Consumer associations which fulfil certain criteria can bring representative actions, pursuing either injunctive collective redress or compensatory collective redress. There is no sectoral mechanism in place in the area of competition law. However, the wording of the provisions regarding consumer protection makes it possible for a consumer association to bring a representative action against a producer or supplier who has violated competition law provisions. In the field of Labour Law, the CCP contains provisions which allow the limited participation of trade unions to court proceedings in relation to labour disputes.

A.Consumer Law

1.Consumer Associations

Under Greek law, consumer associations may initiate court proceedings for the protection of consumers. The establishment and function of consumer associations are regulated by the Law on Consumer protection and the provisions of the Greek Civil Code (GCC) regarding associations. According to the law, the sole purpose of consumer associations is the protection of consumers' rights and interests.

The law does not provide a stipulation as to what rights and interests are deemed to be in need of protection by consumer associations. It is accepted that a wide scope of rights and interests fall within the purpose of consumer associations. However, these rights and interest must be genuinely 'collective', namely relating to the general interests of consumers as a group. This is evidenced by Article 10(16)(a) of the Consumer Act, which provides a non-exhaustive listing of examples which can give rise to a Representative Action (discussed below).

Consumer associations can be either 'first-level' or 'second-level'. Only natural persons may be members of a first-level consumer association. The law stipulates that at least a hundred (100) persons are required for the establishment of a first-level consumer association, except in the case of small municipalities (with a population under 5000), where fifty (50) members suffice. First-level consumer associations may become members of a second-level consumer association. At least five (5) first-level consumer associations are required for the establishment of a second-level consumer association. Both types of consumer associations obtain legal personality when they are registered to the 'Registry of Consumer Associations', which is kept at the General Secretariat of Consumers (Ministry of Economy & Development). The collective redress mechanism in the field of consumer law follows the opt-in approach.

The Law on Consumer Protection identifies three distinct types of actions that consumer associations may undertake:

a.First, 'every' consumer association may seek judicial protection for the individual rights of their members qua consumers. This is an exceptional form of standing, whereby consumer associations initiate proceedings for the protection of rights belonging to third parties (i.e. consumers qua individuals). This type of judicial action does not deprive individual consumers of access to court, meaning that they could still file an individual action. However, if a consumer does file an individual action, then there will be no legitimate reason for the consumer association to initiate proceedings. It will be able, nonetheless, to intervene in support of the plaintiff consumer, in accordance with the rules on third party intervention (Article 80 CCP).

b.Furthermore, under certain conditions, consumer associations may file an action for declaration of the consumers' right to seek damages due to the illegal behaviour of suppliers or producers. According to the Law on Consumer Protection, this action can be filed by a consumer association which has at least five hundred (500) active members and was registered in the Registry of Consumer Associations at least one year before the filing of the action. Alternatively, the law stipulates that this action can be filed by a consumer association 'when the illegal behaviour harms the interests of at least thirty (30) consumers'. The court decision, which upholds this declaratory action, has the force of res judicata vis-à-vis the injured consumers, even when the latter did not participate in the proceedings. The practical significance of this declaratory action is that it seeks to create the preconditions, which will allow a specific consumer (or consumers) to be compensated. However, the consumers' right to seek damages will be dependent on their ability to prove the exact amount of the damages that they suffered. Therefore, pursuant to a (collective) declaratory judgment, an injured consumer could file an individual claim, solely for the purpose of quantifying the exact amount of the injury. The issue of the supplier's liability will be covered by the res judicata of the judgment issued on the declaratory action. However, if the specific amount of an individual claim is certain or can be easily calculated, then the consumer concerned may submit an application for a payment order against a supplier which was found liable for damages, provided that the judgment which upholds the declaratory action has become 'irrevocable'. A judgment becomes 'irrevocable' ('ametakliti') under Greek law, when it can no longer be reviewed by means of the so-called 'exceptional' legal remedies ('anapsilafisi' and 'anairesi').

c.Finally, consumer associations fulfilling certain conditions may file a representative action for the protection of consumers, under Article 10(16) of the Law on Consumer Protection (hereafter 'Representative Action'). A Representative Action may be filed by a consumer association having at least five hundred (500) active members, which has been registered in the Registry of Consumer Associations at least one year before the filing of the action. Alternatively, a Representative Action may be filed by a consumer association 'when the illegal behaviour harms the interests of at least thirty (30) consumers'. A consumer association may bring a Representative Action against a supplier who is in violation of various provisions of the Consumer Act, as well as rules on consumer credit; package travels; time-sharing; e-commerce; advertising; regulations governing the production, distribution, and use of medicinal products; legislation regarding television and radio etc. As a leading scholar has accurately noted, this indicative listing of examples covers the entire spectrum of contemporary transactions. Therefore there is practically no area of action by suppliers, falling outside the reach of the Representative Action. This judicial remedy, which constitutes the only genuine collective redress mechanism in the Greek legal order, will be explored in the following subsection.

2.Representative Action in Consumer Protection

The report of the Hellenic Parliament's Scientific Service clarifies that the Representative Action is based on the continental model of actions brought by associations, such as the 'action associationnelle' in French law or 'Verbandsklage' in German law. The legal nature of the Representative Action is debated in the literature. According to one opinion, when a consumer association files a representative Action, it exercises a (substantive) right belonging to it; therefore the consumer association is both plaintiff and the (legal) person entitled to the right, the protection of which is sought before a court. According to a different opinion, a consumer association which files a Representative Action, does not seek the protection of a right belonging to it; rather it has an exceptional form of legal standing, but this standing 'does not correspond to a right, interest or a claim belonging to it'. This theoretical debate will not be explore further, but it should be noted that both views have strong arguments, which cannot be discredited easily

a.Competent Court

Representative Actions are adjudicated by the Court of First Instance (multi-judge formation or 'Polimeles Protodikio'), which has jurisdiction for the place of residence or establishment of the defendant.

b.Procedural framework

According to Article 10(16) of the Law on Consumer Protection, consumer associations may file 'any' Representative Action for the 'protection of the general interests of consumers'. Thereafter, this provision states that a Representative Action may have the following (indicative) claims:

1.The cessation of illegal behaviour of a supplier;

2.Non-pecuniary damages, namely monetary compensation for 'moral damages'; or

3.A claim for interim measures (for the cessation of illegal behaviour or a claim for damages) until an enforceable judgment is issued. This can include a claim for seizure of defective products, when the latter constitute a public health or safety hazard.

It should be noted that Representative Actions falling within the first two categories mentioned above, are subject to a special set of procedural rules, namely the rules for 'non-adversarial proceedings'. This has a number of procedural consequences, the most important of which is the fact that the adjudicating court may order any measure necessary for determining the crucial facts of the case, as opposed to ordinary proceedings, where the court can only take into account the claims and allegations put forward by the parties. Finally, the Law on Consumer Protection states that the Representative Action must be filed within six (6) months from the illegal behaviour of the supplier.

c.Standing

In respect to the conditions laid down in para. 4 points (a)-(c) of the Recommendation, consumer associations, under Greek law, have as their exclusive aim the protection of rights and interests of consumers as a group. They, therefore, satisfy the criteria of points (a) and (b) of para 4 of the Recommendation regarding their non-profit making character and the existence of a direct relationship between their main objectives and the rights that are claimed to have been violated in respect of which the action is brought.

As regards point (c) of para 4 of the Recommendation, there are no requirements in respect to the entities' capacity in terms of financial and human resources, and legal expertise. The only requirement for bringing a Representative Action is that the entity must have at least five hundred (500) active members, meaning that they have fulfilled their financial obligations by having paid their membership fees. This requirement ensures a certain degree of financial capacity for the entity. However, in case that a Representative Action is brought on the grounds that at least thirty (30) consumers have been harmed by the alleged illegal behaviour of a supplier, the plaintiff entity is not required to satisfy the aforementioned requirement.

Besides the aforementioned requirements, consumer associations don't face any other duty to prove that they have the administrative and financial capacity to bring the claim.

The Consumer Act also stipulates that the certified status of consumer associations is revoked, when they don't demonstrate any activity for two years or violate certain provisions of the Consumer Act (e.g. the prohibition to accept donations from suppliers or political parties; the prohibition of using as their facilities the homes or headquarters of the natural or legal persons that participate in them; the prohibition of advertising in any way businesses of suppliers; the prohibition of having in their administrative board persons convicted for a series of offenses; the prohibition of providing remuneration to the members of their administrative board for their services).

If the legal requirements for filing a Representative Action are not satisfied, then the consumer association is simply not entitled to bring it and the relevant application must be dismissed.

d.Injunctive Relief and Expediency

When there is a need for a quick grant of an injunctive order, consumer associations may request the court to order interim measures. Under the Code of Civil Procedure, the court may order interim measures when there is a 'case of emergency' or 'imminent danger'. Such an example would be the case of defective products which pose a risk to the safety or health of consumers. In that case, the Consumer Act states that the court may order the seizure of the said products. Furthermore, under the procedural rules which apply to interim measures, the court may issue a 'provisional order' until it reaches a decision on the applications for interim measures. Under a provisional order - which may be revoked by the court at any time - the court may order any measure which it considers to be necessary.

Consumer associations will, however, face procedural difficulties to invoke and prove that there are circumstances which justify the granting of interim measures. Under the Consumer Act, when a consumer association files a Representative Action seeking injunctive collective redress, the claim will be adjudicated under a special set of procedural rules, namely the rules for 'non-adversarial proceedings', at the 'earliest possible hearing date'. The adjudicating court may order any measure necessary for determining the crucial facts of the case, even those facts which have not been invoked by the parties, without being bound by the ordinary procedural rules regarding evidence (articles 744 and 759(3) CCP). There is no time limit for the full adjudication of the claim. However, when a consumer association files a Representative Action, the claim is fixed to be examined at the 'earliest possible hearing date' (article 10(20) of the Consumer Act). Usually, there will only be one hearing and the court will thereafter issue its judgment, the exact timing depending on the difficulty of the case and the volume of the evidence.

Therefore, the quick adjudication of cases under the rules for 'non-adversarial proceedings', will often impede the plaintiff representative entity from arguing that there is a 'case of emergency' or 'imminent danger', which justify the granting of interim measures.

Arguably, the subject matter of the Representative Action is not the resolution of a private dispute between the parties to the proceedings, but 'the determination of a legal fact or the creation of a new legal situation'. This corresponds to the choice of the Greek legislature to select the rules on 'non-adversarial proceedings' for the adjudication of the Representative Action, as opposed to the ordinary rules on adversarial proceedings.

e.Res Judicata of the Representative Action

One of the most interesting legal question regarding Representative Actions, relates to the force of res judicata. Article 10(20) of the Law on Consumer Protection states that the court decision that is issued following a Representative Action (for damages or for the cessation of illegal behaviour) 'has force erga omnes, even if they were not parties to the proceedings'.

Article 10(21) of the Law on Consumer Protection, grants the power to the Minister of Development to issue a ministerial order, obliging suppliers to abide to a court decision issued on a Representative Action. The Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State), in its decision 1210/2010 (plenary session) - which upheld the constitutionality of this legislative provision - seemed to confirm the opinion of those who adopt the broad interpretation of res judicata, according to which the force of res judicata of a Representative Action extends to suppliers who did not participate in the court proceedings. According to this provision, the Minister of Development may issue a ministerial order, specifying the terms and conditions for the compliance of suppliers' commercial behaviour to the res judicata of irrevocable court decisions on actions brought by consumers and consumer associations (Representative Actions). The law states that this power is exercised by the Minister, insofar as the consequences of the force of res judicata are of a 'broader public interest for the proper functioning of the market and the protection of consumers'. Envisaged are situations in which a consumer or a consumer association brings an action against a supplier regarding a general term or some form of standard practice followed by several suppliers. In order to ensure timely compliance with the decision, even by suppliers who were not parties to those proceedings, and in order to resolve a problem which impeded the normal function of the market, the Minister may clarify and codify in the above decision how suppliers are to behave in the future.

The Minister of Development has exercised the power awarded to him by the aforementioned provision, in the area of the general terms used by banks. Following several 'irrevocable' decisions issued by courts on actions by consumers and consumer associations, which had ruled that certain general terms of loan, credit card and deposit account agreements were abusive and thus void, the Minister issued a ministerial order in 2008, codifying all the abusive general terms and prohibiting their further use (as well as the use of any amended but equally abusive terms). The banks appealed against the ministerial decision before the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State), which in plenary session ruled on the interpretation of art. 10 (21) law 2251/1994. The Court, upholding the Ministerial Decision, clarified that the Minister has the power to specify the application of court decisions, without expressing any own judgment beyond that of the courts. In other words, the Minister does not assume the function of the courts, by ruling on individual cases, but merely specifies the terms under which suppliers shall abide to the res judicata of court judgments. The ministerial decision is based on court decisions, which are anyway binding erga omnes. Suppliers who were not parties to the proceedings, on which the court decisions were issued, are always entitled according to the Constitution and the ECHR to oppose to those erga omnes binding court decisions by means of third party opposition, as foreseen in the Greek Code of Civil Procedure. The banks that participated in the proceedings, argued that there was no reason of public interest which justified the adoption of the measure, as required under Greek law for issuing a ministerial decision. The Court rejected this argument since consumer protection authorities had received more than 1,500 complaints against those terms. Furthermore, the Court affirmed the Minister's power to additionally forbid terms essentially similar to those contained in the court decisions, in order to avoid circumvention of the ministerial decision by the suppliers and because it would be impossible for the Minister to include all possible variations of the forbidden terms.

It should be noted, that after the Council of State delivered its judgment in the aforementioned case, the 2008 Ministerial order was amended twice. Pursuant to these amendments, insurance companies are prohibited from using general terms and conditions, which have been declared unfair by courts, ruling on Representative Actions.

f.Protection of Consumers in Different EU Member States

The Law on Consumer Protection, which transposed the Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests, qualified entities from another Member State are entitled to bring an action for the collective interests of the consumers before the Greek courts.

According to Article 10(30) of the Law on Consumer Protection, in the case of an infringement falling within the scope of Article 10(16) of the Law on Consumer Protection, 'any qualified entity from another Member State where the interests protected by that qualified entity are affected by an infringement' may seek judicial protection. Specifically, the qualified entity may file a Representative Action requesting the cessation of illegal behaviour of a supplier or it may submit a claim for interim measures.

As far as the question of legal standing is concerned, Article 10(30) of the Law on Consumer Protection states that the Greek courts and administrative authorities shall accept the list compiled by the European Commission pursuant to Article 4 of Directive 2009/22/EC, as proof of the legal capacity of the qualified entity to seek judicial protection. This is without prejudice to the right of courts and administrative authorities to examine whether the purpose of the qualified entity justifies its taking action in a specific case.

g.Funding

The Law on Consumer Protection does not contain provisions regarding the funding of a Representative Action. Under Article 10(6) the resources of consumers' associations are exclusively: Registration fees, contributions and voluntary contributions from their members; income generated from their property; inheritance or bequest (legacy); grants from municipal or regional authorities; subsidies from the European Union, international organizations and international consumer associations; the amount of compensation for non-pecuniary damages that is awarded pursuant to a Representative Action (minus a percentage of 20% which is directed to the General Secretariat of Consumers for consumer protection purposes); income generated from the distribution of publications and public events.

Other forms of private funding are not allowed. Every grant-decision by local or regional authorities, the EU, international organizations, and international consumer associations have to be notified to the General Secretariat of Consumer. If a consumer association violates this provision of private funding then it will be subject to different penalties, as explained in detail in the next subsection (article 10 par. 27 of the Law on Consumer Protection). According to article 10(8), consumer associations are forbidden to accept donations, contributions and other forms of support from political parties or suppliers. Furthermore, consumer associations are forbidden to accept remuneration from its members, for the legal remedies (individual or collective) that were filed by the former for the protection of consumers. Consumer associations are not required to declare the origin of any funding (e.g. membership fees etc) to the court at the outset of proceedings.

h.Out of Court settlements

In Greece, out-of-court settlements are not common. Other forms of alternative dispute resolution are also available but - according to Greek Law - contrary to arbitration, a decision through an alternative dispute resolution mechanism is not binding on the parties.

Mediation is one such form. The Law 3898/2010 (Government Gazette Α/211 16 December 2010), which transposed the Directive 2008/52/EC into the Greek legal order, applies to mediation processes whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an amicable agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. Under this law, the mediation process applies in civil and commercial matters. However, the law explicitly states (article 2) that this procedure does not apply to rights and obligations on which the parties are not free to decide themselves under the relevant applicable law. Such rights and obligations are particularly frequent in family law and employment law.

Also of importance is the Hellenic Consumers Ombudsman (L. 3297/2004, Government Gazette Α/259 23 December 2004), which is an Independent Authority. It functions as an independent agency of out-of-court dispute resolution in the area of consumer disputes.

Article 11 of the Consumer's Act establishes the institution of 'Committees of Amicable Settlement'. These are responsible to resolve out-of-court disputes between a consumers and suppliers. Τhe initiation of this alternative dispute resolution process is at the discretion of consumers. Pursuant to the Law 3852/2010 [article 94(2)], the powers of the Committees of Amicable Settlement have been transferred to the country's municipalities. The Consumer Ombudsman functions as quasi-Appellate Body having the power to review the reports of the Committees, in order to ensure the consistent application of the law.

The European Consumer Centre of Greece (ECC-Greece) was launched in 2005, under the auspice of the General Secretariat of Consumers. As from 1-1-2012, ECC-Greece has been operating under the auspice and with the support of the Hellenic Consumer Ombudsman, an Independent Authority of the public sector mandated with the out-of-court consensual settlement of consumer disputes. The operation of ECC-Greece is also foreseen in article 22 of Law 3844/2010 (which transposed Directive 2006/123/EC into the Greek legal order) as contact point for providing information to consumers as regards - inter alia: information relating to rules on consumer protection; the means of redress available in the case of a dispute between a supplier and a consumer; and the contact details of associations or organizations, from which consumers may obtain practical assistance.

Another institution worth mentioning in the banking and investment sector, is the Hellenic Ombudsman for Banking-Investment Services (HOBIS). This is a private, non-profit entity which was formed in 2005, following the merger of the Banking Ombudsman and the Investment Ombudsman. It examines disputes arising from the provision of banking and investment services, aiming at their amicable settlement.

Of importance is also SOLVIT, which is a service provided by national authorities across the EEA. The Ministry of Finance operates as the national SOLVIT centre in Greece. SOLVIT is free of charge. It is mainly an online service. SOLVIT can provide assistance to businesses or individuals who claim that their EU rights are breached by public authorities. SOLVIT aims to find solutions within 10 weeks, provided that the case has not yet been taken to court.

In consumer law cases, it is highly unlikely that any settlements will be examined by courts. If a settlement is achieved under the auspice of the Hellenic Consumers' Ombudsman, the said settlement will not be examined by a court, whereas the Ombudsman will not express a judgment on the fairness or unfairness of the settlement terms.

Moreover, if the parties reach an amicable agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a mediator accredited under Law 3898/2010, the parties may choose to file the original document to the secretariat of the Court of First Instance ('Single-judge formation' or 'Monomeles Protodikeio'), where the mediation was achieved. In these cases, the court will not verify whether the rights and interests of the parties are protected, as this procedure merely aims to render the minutes of the settlement enforceable, without examining the substance of the mediation.

i.Limitation Periods & ADR

The limitation or prescription periods are suspended in respect to ADR of domestic and cross-border disputes concerning contractual obligations stemming from sales contracts or service contracts between a trader established in the Union and a consumer resident in the Union through the intervention of an ADR entity which proposes or imposes a solution or brings the parties together with the aim of facilitating an amicable solution. The filing of an application for ADR suspends the limitation or prescription periods, throughout the duration of the procedure. After the completion of the procedure, the suspended limitation or prescription periods resume.

Moreover, the limitation or prescription periods are also suspended, in respect to mediation processes under Law 3898/2010.

j.Loser pays principle

According to article 176 of the CCP, the losing party is ordered to pay the litigation costs, which include both the court costs and lawyers' fees. The Greek legislator links the 'loser pays principle' to the principle of fault. The losing party is deemed to be responsible for the court proceedings and for that reason must pay all litigation costs. However, in case of partial winning and the partial defeat of each litigant the court may apportion the legal costs in proportion to the extent of the success of each litigant's arguments. In such cases, the Court will also set the lawyers' fees. In case where the 'interpretation of the invoked rule of law' was difficult and, as a result, the outcome of the trial was reasonably uncertain, the Court may set off legal costs between the litigants. In addition, Art. 185 CCP provides that all or part of the expenses may be imposed on the winning party if 1) the judge decides that the winning party has not complied with the 'duty of truth' ; 2) if this party proposed a procedural means of 'offence' or 'defence' or produced a piece of evidence at a late stage of trial, whereas the judge decides that it could have been proposed or produced earlier, 3) this party is responsible for the invalidity or a procedural action or of the hearing.

k.Remedies

Non-pecuniary damages can be awarded in representative actions. In such cases, these damages take the form of punitive damages that is awarded to the organisation and must be used for further consumer protection purposes. This remedy may also be pursued by the competent chambers of business, commerce and industry. The Greek Legislator expressly imposes this penalty only once on the same person, regardless of the frequency of their illegal actions, in conformity with the basic principle ne bis in idem. Finally, according to article 10(22), part of this compensation is given to the General Secretariat for Consumers, with the aim of financing activities relevant to consumer protection.

l.Enforcement of Injunctive Orders

According to Article 947 of the Code of Civil Procedure, in cases of injunctive relief, the court decision may state that the defendant supplier is liable to pay a monetary penalty up to one hundred thousand euros (€100,000) for any violation of the injunctive order, which is awarded to the plaintiff. Moreover, the injunctive order may impose detention up to one year against the incompliant supplier. If the aforementioned penalties are not included in the injunctive order, the consumer association may file an application to the Court of First Instance ('Single-judge formation' or 'Monomeles Protodikeio'), requesting the imposition of the said penalties.

If a supplier does comply with an injunction ordering the recall, seizure, or destruction of defective products, then Article 945 of the Code of Civil Procedure stipulates that the consumer association may enforce the order itself at the cost of the supplier.

There is no formal-judicial mechanism for monitoring compliance with an injunction order. Essentially, the party who filed the injunctive request will monitor whether the defendant has complied with the court order. If the defendant refuses to comply with the court's decision, the plaintiff will file a request to the Court of First Instance ('Single-judge formation' or 'Monomeles Protodikeio'), for the enforcement of the injunctive order. Finally, under the Greek Criminal Code, a supplier that does not comply with an injunctive order may face a minimum sentence of imprisonment for six (6) months when the requirements of that provision are satisfied.

B.Competition Law

Greece does not have a sectoral mechanism in place for mass harm situations produced by violations of competition law and the country has yet to transpose Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions into national law. In Greek law, there is no special provision of private enforcement of competition law. Actions in civil courts are based on the general provision of the Greek Civil Code (GCC) on torts. Article 914 of the GCC provides that any person who has caused illegally and through his fault harm to another shall be liable for compensation'. Furthermore, the Greek lower courts have held that a violation of the 1977 Competition Act can also be classified as illegality in the sense of art. 914 GCC. The Supreme Civil Court (Areios Pagos) seemed to accept that a violation of the 1977 Competition Act constituted a tort, and later decisions accepted that violations of the new Competition Act which replaced the previous regime (Law 3959/2011) can qualify as torts if the other elements of torts are also fulfilled (fault, prejudice/damage and causality between the unlawful act and the harm). The enactment of Regulation 1/2003 did not bring any changes to the legal status of private enforcement of competition law. Another provision allowing actions for damages in case of antitrust infringements is article 919 GCC, which reads: 'Anyone who willfully causes harm to another person in a manner contrary to bonos mores is liable to [pay] compensation'.

In principle pecuniary damages and non-pecuniary (moral) damages are available in these claims. Damages may include restitution in kind (in natura), according to article 297 GCC, at the discretion of the court. Restitution in kind is however the exception. In the case which gave rise to the Decision 6042/2002 of the Athens Court of Appeal, the plaintiff, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, brought an action against the subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company that refused to supply medicinal products, requesting that the defendant be ordered to supply. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant refused to supply it with the requested quantities of medicines, whilst the defendant allegedly satisfied in full orders placed by other wholesalers. The Court of Appeal held that a refusal to supply constituting a breach of Article 1 of Law 703/1977 is an illegal conduct under Article 914 of the Greek Civil Code and, provided that the other requirements of Article 914 CC are fulfilled, any person suffering damage as a result of such illegal conduct has a right of compensation. Such compensation may also be awarded in kind, i.e. by obliging the defendant to continue to supply the plaintiff.

1.Remedies

The remedy of injunction (cease and desist order) in cases of antitrust infringements is disputed in legal theory. Greek law does not foresee a general remedy of injunction. According to the Greek Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) there are two main kinds of actions that are available in civil cases: action for performance/injunction and action for recognition/declaration. Through the latter the plaintiff seeks a judgment confirming the existence or non-existence of a legal relation. Through the former action the plaintiff can seek a judgment obliging the defendant to specific performance/behaviour, an injunction or the adjudication of damages.

Article 25(5) of the Competition Act (Law 3959/2011) stipulates that a grant of interim relief by the HCC does not prejudice the competence of the civil courts. The Hellenic civil courts are allowed to order the general provisions of CCP. Civil courts can give an interim relief order, according to Article 682, when there is a 'case of emergency' or a 'need to avoid an imminent risk'. The Court can order - among other measures - the grant of warranty, the temporary seizure, the temporary adjudication of a claim and the temporary regulation of the situation. It has to be pointed out that the HCC can also order interim measures provided that an imminent danger of irreparable damage to the public interest is substantiated. HCC can order interim measures either on its own or on petition of the Minister of Finance if an antitrust violation is reasonably foreseen.

2.Private Enforcement, stand alone and follow-on claims

Stand-alone actions are possible under Greek law, but they have not been very frequent. Claims of competitors or consumers have not been common until now. Follow-on actions have also not been frequent. One main reason for that is the procedure before the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) is usually lengthy and time limitation for private actions under the provisions on torts are five years from the time when the damage and the identity of the tortfeasor were known. Therefore, potential plaintiffs fear that awaiting for a decision of the HCC may cause their claims to become statute-barred.

A case where a complaint to HCC was accompanied by a civil action was 'I. Milopoulos and Co. v. Masterfoods BV and Katastimata Aforologiton Eidon AE (Hellenic Duty Free Shops - HDFS)'. The complainant (I. Milopoulos and Co.) was the exclusive distributor of Masterfoods BV products for the Greek travel retail market. In 2004 its contract was terminated, as a result of a direct supply agreement between HDFS and Masterfoods BV. The complainant brought a complaint before the HCC, alleging that the two companies entered into an agreement to terminate the complainant's contract, in violation of article 1 of the 1977 Competition Act (replaced by Law 3959/2011). The complainant also alleged that HDFS abused its dominant position in the Greek travel retail market, with the purpose of excluding the complainant from that market. The complainant subsequently reached a settlement with Masterfoods BV and withdrew the first part of complaint (the terms of the settlement are confidential, therefore no further comments can be made). The complaint against HDFS was rejected by the HCC on the grounds that: (1) there was general policy on the part of HDFS to enter into direct supply contracts with manufactures and refuse to be supplied by resellers and; (2) this policy was objectively justified on efficiency grounds and was beneficial to consumers. An appeal against the HCC decision was rejected by the Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens. An application for annulment is currently pending before the Council of State. A civil action against HDFS is also pending at the moment.

Among the hard-core abuses that have been investigated by the HCC, few cases were likely candidates for follow-on actions. This is true of both cartel and abuse of dominance cases. A good example constitutes the milk cartel case. In that particular case, a horizontal price-fixing agreement was complemented by vertical resale price maintenance agreements between dairy producers and supermarket chains. Under the circumstances, even if the cartel overcharge had affected the overall profits of the retailers, by reducing their turnover (something highly unlikely, given the low price elasticity of demand and limited substitutability of the relevant products), it is safe to assume that any disputes between producers and retailers will be amicably settled in the course of their ongoing commercial relationship. At the same time, a collective action by consumers, in such cases was clearly futile even without taking into account any of the other usual and well-documented problems (standing of indirect purchasers, proof of passing-on, cost-effectiveness). Other cases with horizontal price-fixing agreements in markets for non-uniform products or services are less suitable for collective actions. In such cases, in the absence of product uniformity, a separate counterfactual competitive price must be calculated for each individual case, something extremely difficult to do in a cost-effective manner.

There is a strong possibility that the cases that are likely candidates will be either settled out of court or are still pending, as the potential plaintiffs are still waiting for the outcome of the appeals against the decision of the HCC and are not in a hurry to bring a claim before the civil court or to ask for an early date for a trial.

3.Consumer Law Representative Action and Competition mass claims

It should be noted that the Law on Consumer Protection indicates certain provisions, the violation of which may give rise to a collective action. Although the competition law provisions are not laid down, it is unanimously accepted in the legal literature that since the enumeration is not exhaustive, anti-competitive practices by suppliers may trigger collective redress proceedings. However, the provisions of consumer protection law would a very imperfect solution for antitrust violations. Courts have not dealt with actions filed by consumer associations pursuant to violations of Competition Law. However, consumer law might be an inappropriate means for addressing antitrust violations for a number of reasons. First, consumer law does not provide guidance to several contentious questions which will arise in proceedings regarding antitrust violations, such as: the precise way of allocating damages which have been adjudicated to a large number of consumers; the way of financing a collective action; the disclosure of evidence etc. These questions are addressed through Directive 2014/104/EU as far as individual actions are concerned, but in the area of collective redress there is a legislative gap. Furthermore, some provisions of Consumer Law are inappropriate for the specific area of Competition Law violations. For instance, under Consumer Law, a Representative Action must be filed within six (6) months from the last demonstration of illegal behaviour by a suppler or producer. This short time frame is inappropriate for antitrust violations, where detection of infringements is extremely difficult. This is particularly the case for cartel violations, as participants in cartels take extreme caution to avoid detection.

4.Unfair Competition

Article 10 of the Law 146/1914 on unfair competition allows individual traders, trade and industry associations, and chambers of commerce to bring an action before the courts seeking an injunction against traders for unfair competition. Such associations may seek injunction against traders violating article 1 of the said law (general clause against unfair competition), article 3 (prohibition of inaccurate statements about price, quality, origin etc. of products), articles 6-8 (exceptional sales and discounts), and article 9 (regulation of sale of specific goods). The legislator, in recognising the right of trade associations to seek an injunction, intended to introduce some sort of 'self-regulation', in cases in which individual traders would be reluctant to bring individual actions against infringers of the law. An action by a trade association presupposes a) that the act, against which the injunction is sought, affects the interests of a member of the association, and b) that the protection of the interests of its members is within the purpose and the scope of the association's articles of association. For example, the association of bus owners is entitled to bring an action against taxi drivers for unfair competition in the form of offering illegal competing transport services. However, a trade union (as opposed to a trade association) does not have standing to bring such action, since it is not directly affected by the action, against which infringement is sought, and trade unions are not included in the persons entitled to bring actions according to art. 10 of law 146/1914.

5.Lawyers' Fees

Lawyers' fees are freely negotiable. In many cases they are determined by reference to the fees set out in the Code of Lawyers (Law 4194/2013), which apply when there is no written agreement between client and lawyer. In particular, the Code of Lawyers provides the remuneration of lawyers for drafting a lawsuit for damages and submitting pleadings before the civil courts equates to a certain percentage of the amount claimed, as follows: 2% claims up to 200.000 euros; 1.5% for claims between 200.001 to 750.000 Euros; 1% for claims between 750.001 to 1.500.000 Euros; 0.5% for claims between 1.500.001 to 3.000.000 Euros; 0.3% for amounts between 3.000.001 to 6.000.000 euros; 0.2% for amounts between 6.000.001 to 12.000.000 euros; 0.1% for amounts between 12.000.001 to 25.000.000 euros; 0.05% for claims exceeding 25.000.000 euros. It is reiterated that these percentages apply if the parties have not agreed otherwise in a written agreement. The law also provides the option of contingency fees

In our opinion, the abusive litigation and/or frivolous litigation can arise based upon the lawyers fees systems due to the way in which lawyers are remunerated on the basis of hourly rates, which is often the case when the defendant is a corporation. This might negatively impact the incentive to litigate, as it will be in the interest of lawyers to increase their billable hours as much as possible.

It is not clear to us how contingency fees affect the incentive to litigate. In some of the cases we have witnessed, contingency fees have facilitated access to justice, especially in high-cost litigation which requires the involvement of specialists. Also, there have been cases of multi-party disputes, in which the choice of contingency fees have facilitated settlements. Namely, in light of the long time required for a judgment to become final in Greece, the lawyers of claimants will often have an incentive to reach a quick out-of-court settlement. However, it is also possible that contingency fees may relate to the problems described above. For instance, we have witnessed cases regarding damages claims pursuant to car accidents, where contingency fees have been associated to the filing of unreasonably high claims. In this line of cases, contingency fees are very common. Since the defendant is almost always an insurance company with significant turnover, this can inflate the amount claimed by plaintiffs. However, since the picture regarding contingency fees is mixed, we hesitate to condemn the use of contingency fees in every case.

6.Funding

Funding regarding actions for damages is not available in Greece. The Greek legislator has not predicted forms of funding for private enforcement litigation in competition law.

C.Labour Law

Article 622 CCP (ex article 669) grants certain procedural rights to professional associations in relation to labour disputes. This provision covers professional associations of both workers (trade unions) and employers, which have acquired legal personality. Professional associations of either workers or employers, are ranked as first, second and third-level trade unions. All levels of professional associations may make use of the procedural rights laid down in Article 662 CPP. On the other hand, according to the widely-held view in the literature, the provision of article 622 should be deemed to have been implicitly repealed in relation to professional chambers, pursuant to the Law 1876/1990.

Article 622(1) CCP recognises the right of professional associations to initiate court proceedings, including applications for interim measures, for the protection of the rights of their members. The member of the professional association, in the interest of whom the latter has filed a law suit, might decide to file an individual suit, without being impeded by the pending law suit filed by the association. A professional association may not initiate proceedings, if the interested member has explicitly expresses their disagreement thereto. Court proceedings initiated under this provision, must arise either from a collective bargaining agreement or from provisions which are equated to a collective bargaining agreement; namely an arbitral award or a ministerial order. Trade unions do not have standing to sue for rights that arise from other sources, such as labour law or an individual employment contract stipulated between an employer and an employee. Should a trade union submit an action under this provision on the grounds of a right arising from an individual employment contract, then the court will issue a ruling of inadmissibility; if it, nevertheless, proceed to examining this action, its judgment can be appealed at the Supreme Court (article 559(14) CCP).

Furthermore, under article 622(2) CCP, professional associations may intervene in a trial between other parties, in support of their members, at any stage of the proceedings until a final judgment is issued. The pending trial in which the professional association intervenes, may relate to any claim and not only to rights arising from a collective bargaining agreement. Thus, a trade union might intervene in proceedings between an employer and an employee, in order to support the claim of its member for the payment of unpaid wages or for the declaration of the illegality of redundancies.

Finally, under article 622(3) CCP, professional associations may intervene in any trial which involves the interpretation and application of a collective bargaining agreement to which the professional association is a party. This right extends to any other provision which is equated to a collective bargaining agreement; i.e. a ministerial order which is binding for the intervening association or an arbitral award pursuant to an arbitration procedure wherein the intervening association participated. The procedural right set out in article 622(3) CCP serves the protection of the collective interest which depends on the outcome of the trial. However, scholars have expressed scepticism for the utility of this procedural right, as the res judicata of the judgement is not automatically extended to a wider group of persons but is binding only for the parties to the ad hoc proceedings.

It is obvious that the article 622 cannot qualify as a collective redress mechanism. First, a wide array of rules, such as those contained in individual employment contracts or legislative provisions, fall outside the scope of article 622(1) and 622(3). This seems hardly consistent with the apparent aim of these provision, which is the protection of workers. Thereafter, when mass harm situations arise, trade unions may not bring representative actions pursuant to article 622, but may only intervene in proceedings initiated by their members. This effectively reduces the utility of article 622 CPP as a mechanism for injunctive or compensatory collective redress. In the absence of a collective redress mechanism, the relief of the harmed persons depends on them bringing individual actions, which might or might not be joined under the rules on ordinary joinder of parties (article 74 CCP). In the past decade, Greek courts dealt with two high-profile cases regarding collective redundancies, which involved preliminary references to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Both cases concerned the lawfulness of collective redundancies, which followed the termination of the activities of production units. As there were no collective redress mechanisms available under Greek law, the claims of the employees made redundant, in both cases, were submitted under the rules on ordinary joinder of parties. Moreover, in both cases there was a large number of plaintiffs. However, the law did not provide for a collective representative action, brought by a representative entity, whereas trade unions could only intervene in support of the plaintiffs. The lack of available collective redress mechanisms in those cases, significantly raised the cost of litigation and undermined the effective legal representation of the parties to the dispute.

D. The 'Pilot Trial' in Administrative Procedural Law

In 2008, the Greek Parliament introduced the mechanism of 'pilot trial' into the administrative procedural law. This mechanism, which is based on the German model, provides an important procedural instrument, which facilitates the swift adjudication of administrative cases, whilst countering the risk of conflicting rulings. In particular, when a case pending before an ordinary administrative court relates to an issue of wider public interest, which affects a broad number of persons, the mechanism of pilot trial allows, under certain condition, this case to be referred to the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State) for adjudication. Should this happen, all trials pending before ordinary administrative courts, which involve the same crucial issue, are automatically suspended and the parties thereto can intervene in the proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court. After the Supreme Administrative Court has ruled on the crucial issue it examined, it can refer the case back to the competent court. The judgment delivered by the Supreme Administrative Court is binding for the parties of the case which was adjudicated before it, including the intervening parties. Furthermore, this 'pilot' judgment, will pave the way for the subsequent development of the case law.

D.Environmental Protection

Greek Law contains a number of provisions in the area of private law for the protection of the environment. The Greek Civil Code (GCC) allows injunctive or compensatory redress through the provisions regarding the protection of personality (article 57 GCC). Claimants may also bring actions based on the provisions of the GCC on torts (article 914 GCC). Property law offers an additional legal basis for protection against 'emissions' (article 1003ff GCC). The legislator has introduced a special legal basis allowing plaintiffs to bring a compensatory claim on damages on the grounds of article 29 of the Law 1650/1986. Finally, under the law on consumer protection, producers may be liable for any damages caused by their defective products, including damages arising from harm to the environment.

1.Standing

Article 57 states that any person whose personality has been violated, has the right to claim that this violation is rectified and not repeated in the future. The term 'personality' encapsulated a wide array of features and values which comprise the essence of human nature. Therefore, the aim of this provision is to protect fundamental aspects of one's personality, such as their name, honour, beliefs etc. The law does not offer an exhaustive description of those aspects which fall within the umbrella of 'personality', as societal developments may render necessary to protect other aspects of one's existence by means of the article 57 GCC.

Greek courts have accepted that this provision can provide the means for the protection of the environment. Is should be noted that the environment is not protected per se under the provisions of the GCC. Nevertheless, it is accepted that the environment is a fundamental factor which affects the personality of individuals, as human beings' survival and development depends on it. The environment is the natural space wherein individuals may participate in societal life.

Moreover, under the provisions of the GCC (articles 966ff) many of the things that constitute the environment are protected as things 'common to all' and 'things destined for public use'. These concepts fall within a wider category of 'things falling outside of commerce'. The law recognises a right of individuals to 'use' (enjoy) collectively the things which are 'common to all' and 'destined for public use'. This right is inextricably connected to the personality of the individual.

The combination of the abovementioned provisions of the GCC ensures an adequate legal basis for the protection of the environment arising from the personality of the individual. According to article 57 GCC, two conditions must be fulfilled in order for an individual to seek judicial protection on the grounds of the violation of their personality: 1) there must be a violation of one's personality; 2) this violation must be illegal. When these conditions are satisfied, a plaintiff may seek judicial protection on the grounds of article 57 GCC requesting that the violation is rectified or that the violation is not repeated in the future. Furthermore the plaintiff may submit a claim for damages, based on the provisions on torts (articles 57, 914 GCC), including a claim for non-pecuniary damages (article 59 GCC).

2.Law 1650/1986 for Environmental Protection

Article 29 of Law 1650/1986 states that any legal or natural person who causes pollution or any other degradation to the environment, is liable to pay compensation for damages. Under this provision, any person who has caused harm to the environment, is liable to pay compensation for damages, even if they are not found to be at fault or negligent (system of strict liability). The system of strict liability constitutes the main advantage of this provision vis-à-vis the traditional rules on torts. The provisions on torts place an excessive burden upon the injured parties, who have to prove that the opponent party was at fault and furthermore that there is a causal link between the damages and the defendant's wrongdoing.

Despite the apparent advantages of this provision, plaintiffs have not yet brought forward any compensatory actions on the grounds of article 29 of Law 1650/1986. The inertia of this provision has to do with its vague wording, which renders its practical application very difficult. Moreover, it has been noted that the lack of case law is explained in light of the fact that plaintiffs in Greece initiate court proceedings before civil courts either as a precautionary measure to prevent harm to the environment or to seek injunctive relief. On the contrary, compensatory actions in the field of environmental protection are rare.

3.Other Provisions of the GCC

The provisions of the GCC on torts and property law may offer an additional legal basis for compensatory and injunctive relief pursuant to environmental harm. Plaintiffs may bring an action for damages based on the provisions on torts (article 914 GCC), when a harm to the environment violates a right or interest protected by law, such as their personality, property, life and health. Consequently, the claim for compensation will be calculated on the damages inflicted on those individual interests or rights. Therefore, a compensatory action based on the grounds of torts might fail to capture the social cost of a harm to the environment.

In addition, property law includes a series of provisions which constitute the so-called 'neighbouring law', which may provide legal protection against 'emissions' (article 1003ff GCC). Article 1003 GCC sets out the conditions under which the owner of an immovable property has the obligation to tolerate the emission of smoke, soot, effluvia, heat, noise, vibration etc, which originate from a neighbouring property. In particular, these emissions must not unduly affect the first property and secondly they must emanate from an activity which is considered common for the location of the property. When the limits circumscribed by the preceding conditions are exceeded, the owner of a property, which is negatively affected by emissions, may bring forward an action, requesting that this violation of their right to property is rectified and not repeated in the future.

4.Consumer Protection Law and Environmental Protection

Under article 6(1) of the law on consumer protection, producers are liable to pay compensation for 'all' damages caused by their defective products. Furthermore, article 6(6)(b) of the law on consumer protection, states that the producer's liability covers any damage or destruction of any asset or property belonging to the harm consumer, including the 'right to use [enjoy]' the environment.

Moreover, article 8 of the law on consumer protection states that service providers are liable to pay compensation for 'all' pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages suffered by consumers by an act or omission of the former, which took place during the provision of services. In addition, the said action or omission must be illegal and the defendant service provider must be proven to be at fault. The preceding provisions offer a legal basis for consumers to claim compensation for environmental damages caused by producers or service providers for environmental damages.

5.Collective Redress in Environmental Mass Harm Situations

The starting point of the Greek legal order as regards judicial protection is that both administrative and civil courts require that plaintiffs have a concrete legal interest to seek judicial protection. Under the rules of civil procedure, a plaintiff may seek judicial protection before civil courts, insofar as they have a 'direct legal interest' thereto (article 68 CCP). The case law of the Council of State has accepted that a broad category of persons may justify legal interest in cases of environmental protection. Individuals will be considered to have sufficiently demonstrated that they have a legal interest to initiate proceedings, if they can demonstrate proximity to the area which is harmed by the administrative act at issue. Moreover, associations having environmental protection as their objective, will be considered to have sufficient legal interest to initiate proceedings, even if they are not in proximity to the harmed area. Therefore, individuals and associations have very often initiated proceedings before the Council of State, seeking the annulment of administrative acts relating to large projects of infrastructure. Contrary, the case law of civil courts is much more limited, albeit some civil courts have accepted that associations whose objective is environmental protection, may intervene in proceedings regarding the environment.

1. Law 2251/1994 (Government Gazette A/191 16 November 1994, as amended) (hereafter referred to as 'Law on Consumer Protection'). See also European Parliament: Directorate General For Internal Policies, 'Overview of existing collective redress schemes in EU Member States' <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201107/20110715ATT24242/20110715ATT24242EN.pdf>. See also Papadopoulou-Klamari, Dimitra/Mikroulea Alexandra, Private Enforcement and Collective Redress, FIDE XXVII, Congress Budapest, 2016 , Vol. 2 (Greece National Report), Athanassiou Lia, Collective Redress and Competition Policy, in Arnaud Nuyts and Nikitas E. Hatzimihail (ed.), Cross Border and Class Actions, 2014, p. 145, Symplis, I., Damages Actions, Greek Report, in B. Cortese (ed.), EU Competition Law between public and private enforcement, 2013, p.269.

2. Article 10(1), Law on Consumer Protection

3. Article 10(2), Law on Consumer Protection

4. See also Article 10(2), Law on Consumer Protection, which states that 'Consumer associations may be organised beyond the second level', meaning that five (5) or more second-level consumer association, may become members of an overarching association.

5. Article 10(3), Law on Consumer Protection. See also General Secretariat of Consumers, 'Registry of Consumer Associations' <http://www.efpolis.gr/el/synergasia-koinonikoi-etairoi/83-enoseis-katanaloton.html>

6. Article 10(15), Law on Consumer Protection. This type has been classified as 'group action - lato sensu', see P Kolotouros, 'The Subject-Matter of the Stricto Sensu Group Action' (opinion) [2015] Dikaio Epiheiriseon kai Etaireion 1189

7. Article 10(16)(d), Law on Consumer Protection

8. Article 10(16), Law on Consumer Protection

9. Article 10(20), Law on Consumer Protection

10. Ibid

11. P Kolotouros, The Subject-Matter of the Stricto Sensu Group Action, refers to this action as a 'group action- stricto sensu'

12. E Alexandridou/Ch Apalagaki in E Alexandridou (ed), Consumer Protection Law (Nomiki Vivliothiki 2015) p. 682 (in Greek)

13. See E Alexandridou/Ch Apalagaki in E Alexandridou (ed), Consumer Protection Law (Nomiki Vivliothiki 2015) p675ff(in Greek)

14. See P Kolotouris, The Subject Matter of the Stricto Sensu Group Action, p.1194 and the literature cited therein.

15. Article 10(19), Law on Consumer Protection

16. Article 10(16)(a), Law on Consumer Protection

17. Article 10(16)(b), Law on Consumer Protection; Mikroulea, Verbandsklage auf Schadenersatz im griechischen Verbraucherschutzgesetz, in Hopt/Tzouganatos, Euopaeisierung des Wirtschaftsrechts, 2006, p. 309.

18. Article 10(16)(c), Law on Consumer Protection

19. Article 10(20), Law on Consumer Protection. See also Article 739ff CCP.

20. Article 10(18), Law on Consumer Protection

21. Article 10(12) of the Consumer Act

22. Article 682 Code of Civil Procedure

23. Article 10(16)(c) of the Consumer Act

24. Article 781 Code of Civil Procedure

25. Article 781(2) Code of Civil Procedure

26. Article 10(16)(a) and Article 10(20) of the Consumer Act; See Article 739ff Code of Civil Procedure

27. See Alexandridou (n Error! Bookmark not defined.) 682 and the case law cited therein

28. Council of State (Plenary session) 1210/2010 (NOMOS Legal Database); Rokas/ Gortsos/ Mikroulea/ Livada, Elements of Banking Law, 2016, p. 498 (in greek).

29. See Ministerial Orders ΥΑ Ζ1-21/2011 (Government Gazette 21/Β 18 January 2011) and Ζ1 -74/2011 (Government Gazette 292/Β 22 February 2011

30. Delouka-Igglesi, Consumer Protection Law (2014, in Greek), p.344-345. See Article 10(30), Law on Consumer Protection, which was introduced through Article 2(3) of the Ministerial Decision YA Z1-111 (Government Gazette B/627 7 March 2012).

31. Article 10(22), Law on Consumer Protection

32. Article 10(7), Law on Consumer Protection

33. Article 10(25), Law on Consumer Protection

34. Papaioannou/Tziva in Alexandridou, E., Consumer Protection Law, p. 715 (in Greek).

35. Papaioannou/Tziva in Alexandridou, E., Consumer Protection Law, 2015, p. 721 (in Greek)

36. Papaioannou/Tziva in Alexandridou, E., Consumer Protection Law, p. 742.

37. Papaioannou/Tziva, in Alexandridou, E., Consumer Protection Law, p. 739, Karakostas, I., General Conditions of Transactions, 2001, p.128 (in Greek).

38. Papaioannou/Tziva, in Alexandridou, E., p. 743

39. Article 11 of the Law 3898/2010 (Government Gazette Α/211 16 December 2010)

40. Article 9 of the Law 3898/2010

41. See Joint Ministerial Decision 70330οικ/30.6.2015 (Government Gazette B/1421 9 July 2015). This Ministerial Decision transposed into the Greek legal order the Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Directive on consumer ADR)

42. Article 11 of the Joint Ministerial Decision 70330οικ/30.6.2015

43. Article 11 of the Law 3898/2010 (Government Gazette Α/211 16 December 2010)

44. Article 178 CCP

45. Article 179 CCP

46. Article 10(24), Law on Consumer Protection

47. See Mathias, ibid p. 3 (in Greek).

48. Article 947 Code of Civil Procedure. The Court of First Instance will follow the procedural rules of Articles 614ff Code of Civil Procedure.

49. Article 232A(1) of the Greek Criminal Code

50. Taliadoros, C., Translation of Greek Civil Code, 2000 (in Greek). See also Papadopoulou-Klamari, Dimitra/Mikroulea Alexandra, Private Enforcement and Collective Redress, FIDE XXVII, Congress Budapest, 2016 , Vol. 2 (Greece National Report), Athanassiou Lia, Collective Redress and Competition Policy, in Arnaud Nuyts and Nikitas E. Hatzimihail (ed.), Cross Border and Class Actions, 2014, p. 145, Symplis, I., Damages Actions, Greek Report, in B. Cortese (ed.), EU Competition Law between public and private enforcement, 2013, p.269.

51. Law 703/1977 which has been replaced by Law 3959/2011

52. Tzouganatos, D., Competition Law in Greece, 2015, p. 118=International Encyclopedia of Laws/Competition Law, Volume Greece, 2015, p. 118, Soufleros, I., Regulation 1/2004, 2015 (in Greek), Soufleros., I., Directive 2014/104/EU and its relation to Regulation 1/2003, NoB (Legal Tribune)2015, 921 (in Greek), Art.6 (2), Marinos, M., Unfair Competition (in Greek), 2015, p. 21, Athanasiou, L., in Tzouganatos, Free Competition Law, Ch. 24, Civil Claims 9 (in Greek), 2013, p. 1275, Triantafillakis,G., Competition Law (in Greek), 2013, p. 132, Iliopoulos, C., Verstoß gegen Art. 85, 86 EWGV und Schadensersatz nach griechischem Recht, Europarecht 1986, 292, Iliopoulos, C., Die Anwendung des Europäischen Kartellrechts in Griechenland - Die Rechtsprechung der griechischen Gerichte und die Entscheidungspraxis der griechischen Kartellbehörde, 1999, Iliopoulos, C., Competition Law in Greece (1981-2005), 2006 (in Greek), , Mikroulea Alexandra, Collective Redress in European Competition Law, ZWeR 2017, Mikroulea Alexandra, Private Enforcement, FIDE XXIV, Congress Madrid, 2010,Vol. 2, p. 231, Tzakas, D.P., Collective redress in the Field of EU Competition Law. The Need for an EU Remedy and the Impact of the Recent Commission Recommendation in Legal Issues of Economic Integration, 41 (2014), No. 3, p. 225, 229,

53. Minority view in the decision 2/1989, 1989 EEmpD (Commercial Law Review), 657 (in Greek).

54. Delikostopoulou, Α., Private Enforcement in favour of consumers (in Greek), in Kokkoris/Lianos, The Reform of Competition Law, 2008, p.434, Trouli, Ε., The Green Paper on Damages Actions for Breach of the EC Antitrust Rules (in Greek), 2007 Evropaion Politeia (European State), p. 930, Bouhagiar, A., Civil liability for EC competition law infringements (in Greek), 2009, p. 35.

55. (2003) DEE (Business and Company Law Review), p.282

56. Tzouganatos, D., Competition Law in Greece, p. 128.

57. HCC 364/2007

58. Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens, 2057/2010

59. I Symplis, Damages Action, Greek Report, in B Cortese (ED.), EU Competition Law between public and private enforcement (2013) p. 269

60. Judgment of the CJEU of 10 February 2004, case C-85/03 Mavrona & Sia OE v. Delta Etairia Symmetochon AE [2004] ECR-I1573, 272.

61. See e.g. HCC 460/V/2009, Audatex and others, a case involving an agreement among car insurance companies to impose uniform hour rates for car repairs. The decision was quashed by the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal on technical grounds. See Athens Administrative Court of Appeal n. 2132-5/2010. See also HCC 518/V/2011, a case involving price fixing (uniform fees)

62. Tzouganatos, D., Competition Law in Greece, ibid, p. 129 (in English), Avgitidis (n 28); Delikostopoulou, in Kokkoris/Lianos, p. 441, (in Greek). Athanasiou, in Tzouganatos, Competition Law, 2013, p. (in Greek) Antonia R Papadelli, 'From the White Paper to the Unofficial Proposal for a Directive' [2010] Dikaio Epiheiriseon kai Etaireion 662.

63. See Avgitidis (n 28.); Delikostopoulou, in Kokkoris/Lianos, p. 441, (in Greek). Athanasiou, in Tzouganatos, Competition Law, 2013, p. (in Greek) Antonia R Papadelli, 'From the White Paper to the Unofficial Proposal for a Directive' [2010] Dikaio Epiheiriseon kai Etaireion 662.

64. Avgitidis (n 28); Papadelli (n 662)

65. Article 10(18), Law on Consumer Protection.

66. Marinos, Unfair Competition, 3rd ed. 2015, p. 398 (in greek).

67. Court of Appeals of Larissa, 25/2014

68. Areios Pagos, 1125/2011.

69. Article 59 of the Lawyers' Code

70. Article 58 of the Lawyers' Code

71. Pursuant to Law 4335/2015 (n 330), the provision of article 669 was renamed to article 622

72. See articles 614(3) and 621 CCP

73. See Mpalogianni (n 325), art 669 and Kerameys, Kondylis and Nikas (n 327), art 669, both referring to K Papadimitriou 'Locus Standi of Professional Associations Pursuant to the Provision of Article 669(1) CCP' (June 1990) Diki 497

74. Areios Pagos (Supreme Court, Plenary Session) 8/2011 (NOMOS Legal Database);

75. See Mpalogianni (n 325), art 669 and Kerameys, Kondylis and Nikas (n 327), art 669

76. Joined cases C-187/05 to C-190/05 Agorastoudis and Others ECLI:EU:C:2006:535, [2006] I-07775; Case C-270/05 Athinaïki Chartopoiïa ECLI:EU:C:2007:101, [2007] I-01499

77. See Article 39 Law 3659/2008 (Government Gazette A/77 7 May 2008) and subsequent amendments

78. P D Dagtoglou, Administrative Procedural Law (6th edn, Sakkoulas Publications Athens-Thesasaloniki 2014) 323;

79. Government Gazette Α/160 16 October 1986

80. Ioannis K Karakostas, Civil Code: Interpretation - Commentary - Case Law, vol 1 (Nomiki Vivliothiki 2005), art 57

81. Ioannis K Karakostas, Environment and Law (2nd edn, Ant N Sakkoulas 2006) 324

82. Ioannis K Karakostas, 'Private Law for Environmental Protection' (2010) 58 Nomiko Vima 122, 123

83. ibid, 1928

84. Karakostas, 'Private Law for Environmental Protection' (n 415)

85. ibid, 1927

86. Karakostas, Environment and Law (n 414) 664

87. ibid

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