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.
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).
A new law has amended the conditions for the approval of, and narrowed down the renewable energy source (RES) projects which may be accepted as, investments of strategic interest. Henceforth, only investments of at least €50 million in projects which use technological innovations to produce electricity from an RES and have a common connection point to the grid and investments of at least €100 million in projects with a common connection point to the grid may be approved as strategic investments.
In July 2020 Parliament enacted the Law for the Promotion of Electric Mobility which, among other things, introduced numerous tax and other incentives for the promotion of e-vehicles. Natural and legal persons are entitled to subventions from the purchase price of e-vehicles, depending on certain criteria. The aim of the law is to provide economic incentives to buyers to purchase e-vehicles and promote electric mobility.
In May and July 2020 the Regulatory Authority for Energy approved three five-year development plans for the extension of the natural gas distribution network: the natural gas network development plans for Thessalonica and Thessaly; the rest of Greece; and Attica. In September 2020 the Public Gas Distribution Networks launched two competitive procedures for the construction of networks in the East Macedonia and Thrace region, which attracted significant interest in Greece.
In July 2020 a ministerial decision of the Ministry of Environment and Energy was published in the Official Gazette. The decision encompasses the new transitional flexibility remuneration mechanism (ie, the fee paid to selected electricity providers for the provision of the flexibility service). The mechanism is now in force and will remain so until 31 March 2021 or the date of implementation of the long-term compensation mechanism regarding the electricity system's power sufficiency, whichever occurs sooner.
Following the completion of the Regulatory Energy Agency's (RAE's) recent consultation, the RAE designated 1 November 2020 as the effective date of operation of the intraday and day-ahead markets and the balancing market (electricity markets). Further, the RAE recently issued a series of delegated decisions in order to regulate access to the electricity markets, clearing members' obligations and risk management measures in both the electricity markets and the balancing market.
Few industries have been as fiercely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as travel and hospitality. Even when hotels are allowed to operate, mass cancellations have, until now, shattered hoteliers' hopes for recovery. Greece boasts a large hospitality infrastructure. Although only 28% of hotels seem to have adequate property insurance, an increasing number of resorts and properties owned or operated by risk-aware companies are purchasing select cover designed specifically for the sector.
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.
In March 2020 Greece adopted a new Trademark Law in order to implement the EU Trademarks Directive into Greek law. By virtue of this new law, the Greek trademark regime is now largely similar to that of the European Union. The new Greek Trademark Law essentially follows EU Trademark Regulation (2017/1001), rendering the Greek legal system more familiar and friendly to foreign entities, many of which are already acquainted with the EU framework.
In copyright infringement cases, rights holders can claim both pecuniary and moral damages. According to Article 65(2) of Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters, where an infringement was intentional or the result of negligence, the amount of damages (ie, compensation) cannot be lower than twice the remuneration that the infringer should have paid – under normal circumstances – for the legitimate acquisition of the relevant exploitation rights.
Defence strategies in copyright cases are, in principle, based on one of a number of grounds, including an objection as to whether a particular work falls under the protection of Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters. For example, if a journalist sues a third party for copyright infringement, the defendant might claim that the journalist's work does not meet the criterion of originality if it contains only mere or actual information without any element of the author's personal contribution.
Greek copyright law does not provide for a fair use or fair dealing defence. Nevertheless, Law 2121/1993 on Copyright, Related Rights and Cultural Matters (the Copyright Law) contains an exhaustive list of specific statutory exceptions and limitations on authors' economic rights. A copyrightable work can be legally used without prior authorisation or payment if said use is covered by a specific exception or limitation stipulated by the Copyright Law and all legal requirements provided thereunder are met.
To constitute an original work of intellectual property and thus be protectable under the Copyright Law, a journalistic work must contain an element of individuality and personal contribution, particularly with regard to the selection, composition, elaboration and adaptation of its content. The form in which a journalistic work is presented to the public may also classify it under the protective category of a literary, audiovisual or photographic work if said form is a text, video or image.