The Code of Civil Procedure sets out a number of conditions that must be met in order for a foreign arbitral award to be recognised and enforced in Greece. The conditions that applicants must satisfy in this regard are in line with the New York Convention, to which Greece is a signatory. This article provides comprehensive guidance on the recognition and enforcement process's requirements.
Under Article 897 of the Code of Civil Procedure, an arbitral award can be annulled in whole or in part by a decision from the competent national court only if it is contrary to, among other things, public order provisions or bonos mores. Examples of public order provisions that would justify the annulment of an arbitral award include jus cogens rules which have been enacted in order to protect the public interest.
The advantages of arbitral proceedings, including speed, may be compromised when an arbitral award is challenged. The recent changes to the Civil Procedure Code aimed at accelerating judicial proceedings have not yet shown considerable progress. In any case, the Greek courts are reluctant to set aside arbitral awards or refuse their enforcement, thus indicating that recourse to arbitration for local and international cases is a valuable instrument in alternative dispute resolution.
An important consideration before doing business in Greece is choosing the most suitable corporate entity. However, there are several other key elements to consider. A one-stop service is available (with limitations) for the incorporation of all company types, provided that they use basic (ie, template) articles of association; however, there are no 'off-the-shelf' companies in Greece. This article outlines the basic types of Greek corporate entity (excluding maritime entities).
Parliament recently passed a law modernising environmental legislation and harmonising Greek law with EU Directives 2018/844 and 2019/692. The law contains new legislative measures which will significantly amend, standardise and simplify the current licensing procedure for renewable energy power plants – particularly the procedure for obtaining a renewable energy source production licence and an environmental approval.
Greece recently adopted its first National Plan for Energy and Climate, which regulates all energy sectors. The plan defines Greece's energy and climate targets up until 2030, as well as priority policies and implementation measures which should help to both develop and reform the energy sector by 2050. The plan will also facilitate the shaping of the country's energy and climate strategy for the years 2030 to 2050.
Under the new law on the liberalisation of the energy market, the Public Natural Gas Company (DEPA) will be spun off into three distinct undertakings: DEPA Infrastructure, DEPA Commercial and DEPA International Projects. The privatisation tender is organised by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund. Parties intending to participate in the tender are requested to meet various legal, financial and technical requirements.
Law 4643/2019 on the liberalisation of the Greek energy market, the modernisation of the Public Power Corporation, the privatisation of the Public Natural Gas Company and the support of the renewable energy sector was recently published in the Official Journal. The new legal provisions aim, among other things, to facilitate and expedite the licensing procedure for numerous power production applications already pending before the Regulatory Energy Agency.
Under the new law on the liberalisation of the energy market, the Public Natural Gas Company (DEPA) will be spun off into three distinct undertakings, two of which will be completely privatised. This transformation will significantly alter DEPA's unbundling and privatisation scheme, which was adopted in March 2019 (ie, before the elections and respective reconfigurations in Parliament and government).
Contract works policies contain exclusion clauses relating to the cost of rectifying defects in design, materials and workmanship, which offer rich grounds for disputes between underwriters and insureds. In a recent case, the Athenian civil courts had to decide whether the plaintiff was entitled to recover from its insurer part of the costs that it had incurred as a result of defective material being used in an underground communication construction project.
By a majority two-to-one vote, the Athens Court of Appeal has found that an insurer's refusal to provide health insurance to a homosexual and histrionic man did not amount to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation or infringe the plaintiff's personality rights. The dissenting opinion, which provided a detailed analysis of the non-discrimination principle, makes a statement about the universal principal of equality between individuals which, despite its age, appears to be more acute than ever.
The Athens First Instance Court recently heard a case involving a law firm which sought to be indemnified from its professional indemnity underwriter. The policy covered a lawyer's professional liability while providing services within Greece and under Greek law. The insured claimed that he was entitled to indemnity not because the policy provided such cover, but rather because, among other things, he had requested such cover and the insurer had failed to include it in the policy.
The Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies recently hosted the 18th Hydra Insurance and Reinsurance Meeting. At the meeting, insurers and reinsurers from 24 countries around the world discussed specific concerns and issues that directly affect the industry, including how technological advancements have affected motor and health insurance and may do so in the future and how the vast majority of the population is unprotected against financial losses from catastrophic risks.
The Supreme Court for civil matters, sitting in plenary session, has issued a judgment on the validity of 'claims-made' policy clauses. Ending a long period of judicial uncertainty, the Supreme Court ruled that, insofar as insurance contracts covering professional risks are concerned, the claims-made principle is fully valid and enforceable. The insurance market has thus breathed a sigh of relief.
Trading in pirated and counterfeit goods is widespread in many countries, including Greece. As such, the Trademark Law and the Copyright Law set out significant penalties (eg, long-term imprisonment) and high fines for anyone using, exploiting, putting on the market, selling, distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute to the public products that infringe the trademarks or copyrights of third parties.