Fields of Intervention


1. Which are the agencies falling within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman?

•    Public Sector Services, such as Ministries, Tax Offices, City Planning Offices, Police Stations, Prisons, Schools, Embassies/Consulates of Greece, etc.
•    Local Government Authorities, i.e. Municipalities and Regions, together with legal entities and their enterprises
•    Legal Entities under Public Law, such as Social Insurance Funds, Hospitals, Universities, the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), etc.
•    State Legal Entities under Private Law, such as the Organisation Against Drugs (OKANA), the Center for the Accreditation of Lifelong Learning Providers (EKEPIS), ELOT, the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME), University Research Institutes etc.
•    Public Utility Companies and Organisations, such as Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP), PPC, the Hellenic Post, Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYATH) etc
 

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2. Are there any state agencies not falling within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman?

The following do not fall within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman:
•    Ministers and Deputy Ministers with respect to implementation of policy (e.g. their legislative initiative)
•    Religious Legal Entities (unless the case regards the protection of children’s rights)
•    Judicial and Public Prosecuting Authorities and their administrative services (e.g. court secretariats etc). However, the Greek Ombudsman’s competence includes public services under the public prosecutor’s supervision, such as jails, civil registries, land registries.
•    Military Services only when it comes to national defense and security matters.  However, military units and recruiting services are monitored by the Greek Ombudsman when it comes to matters pertinent to the rights of conscripts.
•    the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only when it comes to foreign policy and international relations. However, the Greek Ombudsman does monitor embassies/consulates of Greece abroad as to their disputes with Greek or foreign nationals.
•    the National Intelligence Service
•    the Legal Council of State
•    Independent Authorities, only when it comes to their main function
•    the Athens Stock Exchange
•    the Greek Parliament
With the exception of Religious Legal Entities and the Judicial and Public Prosecuting Authorities, the Greek Ombudsman does monitor all aforementioned agencies/bodies as employers if an employee faces with unfavourable treatment due to his/her gender.
 

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3. Is the Greek Ombudsman the competent authority on hiring issues?

Yes, as long as hiring has not been carried out by the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP in Greek)

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4. I am a public servant and I am having problems at the workplace. Can the Greek Ombudsman mediate?

No, the Greek Ombudsman is not the competent authority on issues regarding the public sector’s staff regulations.  The concept of staff regulations includes any issue arising from the integration of a specific person into the public sector, such as salaries, salary or rank promotions, transfers, moves, secondments, allowances, leaves, disciplinary matters etc.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Greek Ombudsman is the competent authority in intervening in the following staff regulations matters governing public sector employees:
•    When the issue at hand is “discrimination due to race or ethnicity, religious or other conviction, invalidity, age, or sexual orientation”. When it comes to the private sector, the authority competent for the corresponding cases of discrimination is the Equal Treatment Committee of the Ministry of Justice
•    When you are a public sector employee, under any employment status, and are faced with unfavourable treatment due to your sex and/or family status.
 

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5. the Greek Ombudsman intervene in disputes between private parties?

The Greek Ombudsman cannot intervene in disputes between private parties, like:
•    inheritance disputes
•    disputes between renters-owners of real estate property
•    disputes between apartment building tenants
•    non-payment of rent when the tenant is the Public Sector
 

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6. Are there cases that the Greek Ombudsman is the competent authority to intervene for the conduct or actions of private parties?

Exceptionally, the Greek Ombudsman has the authority to monitor the conduct of private parties and/or private agencies:

  • When children’s rights are violated. However, the Greek Ombudsman is no substitute for nor does it assume the role of the public prosecutor, the courts, attorneys, legal counselors, and social services.
  • When a private sector employee is discriminated upon due to gender and/or family status.  The Greek Ombudsman investigates cases regarding unequal treatment due to gender when someone is hired, when the labor contract starts or expires. Also, when the unequal treatment pertains to the working conditions, career development, training, compensation, as well as to the protection of employees during pregnancy, confinement leave, and child-raising leave. Other cases under the Greek Ombudsman’s competence regard sexual harassment issues and/or insulting behaviour in the workplace due to gender.

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7. I am having problems with mobile and fixed telephony companies, Internet service providers, the “Greek Yellow Pages”, or other telephone information providers. Can the Greek Ombudsman undertake my case?

No. For issues regarding all mobile and fixed telephony companies (e.g. Hellenic Telecommunications Organization [OTE] etc) as well as wireless and Internet service providers you may contact the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs, or the Hellenic Consumers’ Ombudsman.

If your dispute lies with the “Greek Yellow Pages”, you may contact the “YELLOW PAGES PRINT & ONLINE INFORMATION S.A.”; the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs; or the Hellenic Consumers’ Ombudsman.

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8. I am having a problem with a bank and TIRESIAS S.A (Bank Information Systems). Can the Greek Ombudsman help me?

No. It has been explicitly stipulated that all Banks are exempt from the Greek Ombudsman’s authority.  You may contact the Hellenic Ombudsman for Banking-Investment Services, the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs; or the Hellenic Consumers’ Ombudsman.

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9. Do Insurance Companies fall within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman?

No. For issues regarding all insurance companies you may contact the Bank of Greece Department of Private Insurance Supervision, the Hellenic Consumers’ Ombudsman, or the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs.

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10. I would like to be placed under the arrangement for over-indebted households. Is the Greek Ombudsman the competent authority?

No. With regard to the prerequisites and the procedure for placement under the provisions of Law 3869/2010 on debt settlements for over-indebted individuals/households, you may contact the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs.

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11. Does Public Transport fall within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman?

All means of Public Transport fall within the competence of the Greek Ombudsman (i.e. urban buses and trolleys, urban railways [Metro, Tram], suburban railways and intercity trains)

The Greek Ombudsman does not have any competence over private Mass Transport Means, such as Intercity Transport Bus Service (KTEL), Organisation of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki or any of the airline and ferry companies.

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12. I would like to make a complaint regarding consumer issues. Can I contact the Greek Ombudsman?

No. Instead, you may potentially contact the General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs and the Hellenic Consumers’ Ombudsman.

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13. Does the Greek Ombudsman provide general information?

No. If you wish to obtain information as to what is stipulated by the legal provisions relevant to your case, what actions you need to take in order to submit your request to the administration, and/or which supporting documents you need to submit etc, you should contact the competent public service and/or the Citizens’ Service Centers (KEP in Greek) or call 1500 (a citizens’ helpline).

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14. What is the relation between the Greek Ombudsman and the courts?

  • The Greek Ombudsman cannot provide you with legal counsel, nor can it represent you in court. In order to be represented in court you need to contact an attorney, and if you cannot afford it, you may contact the competent Lawyers’ Association, while, for any relevant information, you may contact the secretariat of the court before which you have been summoned or you wish to file legal action with.
  • As long as your case remains pending before any court (administrative, civil, or criminal) and/or any other judicial or public prosecuting authority, the Greek Ombudsman cannot intervene. If you have already submitted a complaint and, at some future time, you decide to take the same case to court, the Greek Ombudsman is obliged to cease its intervention. You may turn to the Greek Ombudsman for the very same case if the case is under preliminary investigation by a judge or a public prosecutor but not if an inquest is in progress.
  • Only in the case of complaints for gender discrimination, the Greek Ombudsman continues its investigation should the complainant take the case to court.  In that case, the Greek Ombudsman continues its mediating effort towards the resolution of the issue until the first time the case is heard before the court or until a request for provision of temporary judicial protection is filed.
  • A complaint made to the Greek Ombudsman or an intervention by the Greek Ombudsman does not suspend the deadlines within which you may take your case to court or appeal a court decision. The deadlines continue to be in force regardless of the submission of a complaint  and a following intervention by the Authority. Information on those deadlines or any other prerequisite or process involving legal action may be provided only by an attorney.
  • For a case that a court decision has already been issued, you may have recourse to the Greek Ombudsman only if the court decision was in your favour and the administration takes no action towards implementing it (unless you have taken your case before the “Committee of Law 3068/2002”, in which case the Greek Ombudsman cannot intervene at the same time). However, you cannot ask the Greek Ombudsman for help if the court decision was not in your favour since, in that case, the administration is obliged to implement it and the Greek Ombudsman could not possibly make any recommendations as to the opposite.

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15. I submitted a claim to a public sector service and communicated a copy to the Greek Ombudsman. Will the Authority investigate my case?

No, not just because you notified the Authority. The Greek Ombudsman will undertake to investigate the case provided the interested party submits a written and signed complaint , with which the Greek Ombudsman’s intervention is requested directly.

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16. I tried to submit a written claim to a public sector service but they refused to accept it. Is that legal?

Certainly not. The service is obliged to accept any document addressed to it.  According to Law 2690/1999 “Code of Administrative Procedure” (Articles 4 & 12), each and every document reaching the service in any manner whatsoever is filed on the same day it was received in the incoming documents book and is given a reference number.

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17. Quite recently, I submitted a claim at a public sector service and have yet to receive an answer. Can I make a complaint to the Greek Ombudsman about that matter?

The Greek Ombudsman does not mediate until the deadline foreseen by law for an answer by the administration has lapsed (normally, if no different deadlines have been specified, the time period entailed is fifty (50) days, as stipulated by Article 4, Law 2690/1999 “Code of Administrative Procedure”. Before that deadline lapses, there is no case of illegal action or maladministration .

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