12 LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN 2019
12.1 Legislative amendments
• On 7 February 2019, Article 37 of Law 4590/2019242 abolished Article 36 of Law
1943/1991,243 which stipulated that a public employee could not participate in a
programme of post graduate education that would result in the improvement of
his/her status within the hierarchy of the public administration if he/she had reached
the age limit of 45. The age limit concerned specific programmes that were relevant
to the needs of the specific position and would result in a different work status. In
using the term Ρpost graduate educationΣ, legislators meant an educational level
higher than a university diploma. The gaining of such an educational qualification
matters for professional development within a public service, resulting in an improved
salary. The problem arose when a Code of Employees was adopted in 1999, changing
the age limit from 45 to 50. In the current Code of Employees, the age limit was
removed altogether, as the relevant provision did not mention any such age limit.
However, the initial provision was then codified in newer legislation, which resulted
in the emergence of interpretative issues regarding the applicability of the age limit.
This meant that the applicability of the age limit was uncertain and required
interpretation by the national courts. The introduction of Law 4590/2019 put an end
to this uncertainty.
• On 19 March 2019, the Greek Parliament passed Law 4604/2019,244 which includes
a major change with regard to the equal treatment of Greek citizens in the field of
public sector recruitment as far as ethnic origin is concerned. Specifically, Article
47(1) of the new Law abolished the requirement for a minimum period of one year
from the awarding of citizenship through naturalisation before a person could be
appointed to a public body or employed in a public sector position. This means that
a discriminatory practice which targeted naturalised citizens, and which was contrary
to the constitutionally established principles of equality and equal treatment
irrespective of race, religion or national or ethnic origin, has finally been abolished.
Under the previous legal framework, calls for recruitment to the public sector used
to set a waiting period of at least one year (sometimes up to five years) from the
acquisition of citizenship for interested citizens to be able to apply. This criterion had
been applied to all recruitment processes for the public sector in accordance with the
Public Employees Code (Law 3528/2007245 Article 4(4)) as well as the Municipal and
Community Employees Code (Law 3584/2007246 Article 12(4)), which both stated
that Ρthose who acquire Greek citizenship by naturalisation cannot be appointed as
employees before the completion of one (1) year from its acquisitionΣ. This law
abolished the above provisions and ensures that the acquisition of Greek citizenship
242 Law 4590/2019 on strengthening the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection, strengthening and upgrading
the public administration and other provisions ( 4590/2017
243 Law 1943/1991 on the modernisation of planning, the functioning of public administration, the upgrading of
its personnel and other relevant provisions ( 1943/1991 Ρ
(OJ 50 A/11.04.1991).
244 Law 4604/2019 on promoting substantial gender equality, preventing and combating gender-based violence
– Regulations for the granting of Citizenship – Provisions for Local Government elections – Other provisions
of the εinistry of the Interior ( 4604/2019 ' ,
- ') (τJ 50 A/26.03.2019).
245 Law 3528/2007 on the ratification of the Code for the status of public employees and employees of legal
entities under public law and other provisions ( 3528/2007 '
') (OJ 26 A/09.02.2007).
246 Law 3584/2007 on the ratification of the Code for the status of municipal and communal employees (
3584/2007 ' ') (OJ 143