100 euro fee to file police report in Greece?!?

I was stunned, and appalled, to hear this mentioned in a storyon NPR this morning. I can’t find any other info about it via Google. Anyone here know anything more about this? Is this all over the EU or just Greece? Are there any provisions to waive this for the poor? This just seems so contrary to the notion of “justice for all” that I just…wow.

From some Googling this seems to be the case. Greek-language article - a post in a German-language forum from someone who had his car vandalized and had to pay a €100 fee for filing a police report. There seems to have been a €10 fee in place before it has been raised to €100 in 2011.

A fee for filing a police report is a concept alien to the rest of us EUans, but Greek government practices look pretty weird to us on the whole.

Presumably (and this is only semi cynical) it’s like that because the police want it that way. The police want it that way so they can charge fifty euros under the table.

And yeah the concept is ridiculous to people from the UK (reluctant EU-ians)

Edit: I do however remember a bit of grumbling ten years or so roughly from our police about their time being taken up by literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of crime reports about suspected stolen mobile phones. They were being reported as part of insurance company requriements, in large part fradulently as a way for a free upgrade. Given Greece’s, um, demonstrated average attitude I wouldn’t be surprised if in Greece there are some people who claim everything they fancy replacing on insurance and this could also be related to that. WAG, take with a pinch of salt!

Master plan:

Go to Greece. Mug people but only if it’s less than €100. Then the police won’t be told about the spree.

Ha! Well I’m going to carry nothing but €100 notes then. Hope you can make change!

A Fark headline coming soon! Or a Monty Python sketch.

You cannot “file a police report” in Greece. You can either file an indictment for criminal charges (which costs 100€) or sue for damages (costs much less, in the range of 10€) or file both.

In simple terms, if you want to send the bad guy to prison you file an indictment but if you want to get your money back you sue. Indictments are tried by criminal courts and they do not award damages.

The problem in Greece is that people would file a very large number of indictments either for frivolous reasons, or because they mistakenly thought they would be automatically awarded for damages, therefore overburdening courts and bringing them to a standstill. In my opinion the 100 euro fee is a good measure because only serious cases will reach the criminal courts from now on.

In the example mentioned above, the german guy should have filed a lawsuit for his damaged car, not an indictment. But most people do not consult a lawyer beforehand and then complain they were ripped off!

“I would like to report a crime please.”
“OK then sir. That will be 100 euros. What crime would you like to report?”
“Daylight robbery.”

I think the U.S. really, really needs this fee too.

The problem with the German guy whose post I linked obove was that his car was vandalized by unknown persons, so he cannot file a civil suit against anyone. The usual thing I’d do in such a case would be to go to the police and report it as a crime.

So how does this work if instead of reporting petty property theft I want to report a sexual assault or something, or I just saw an assault occurring in public?

“Hello police I am at the corner of Duke and Evergreen street and there is a guy being beaten by a crowd with”

“WHOA SIR! Slow down, first how would you like to pay we accept Mastercard, Visa…”

just because this is a pet peeve of mine: the EU is not a country. Thinking that because so and so is the case in one of the member states, it might also be like that elsewhere suggests that the EU is somehow involved in setting police report fees (along with all sorts of other minutiae) - and it really isn’t (nor should it be).

I don’t think the poster implied that.

And why isn’t that a fair question? I don’t know exactly what’s in the community acquis. It wouldn’t make sense for me to have something like that to be in it, but it’s a fair question to ask, no?

I’m having trouble believing Greece’s criminal justice system works like this. If I try to describe the divergence from what I am familiar with, can you please confirm where my understanding falls short?

In Ireland, criminal proceedings are brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of the people, and not by the victim.

Are you saying that in Greece, if I am murdered, a private individual has to file an indictment against my killer, and if nobody cares enough to do so, there will be no prosecution? There is no way for a witness to a crime to report it to the police?

I concur; this can’t be how the system works. As described, this sounds like some sort of Orwellian nightmare society where obtaining justice is almost impossible.

It’s a fair question - sure, but embedded in it is a tacit assumption that the EU is much more country-like than it actually is, and that EU involvement in something like this is in fact likely. That is not a crazy thing to assume, but I don’t think it is correct, which I thought I’d point out. To me as a European, this 100 euro fee, if it is in fact true, just strikes me as some weird thing they do in other countries, and it would not occur to me that the EU would be involved somehow in setting fees like that. Honestly, the question reads a little bit like ‘I heard so and so about Mexico - is it like that in all of North America?’.

Is the Greek system based on Napoleonic code (no reason for it to be, unless someone reforming the system said “that’s a pretty good idea”) or some local hybrid system?

I assume it’s like anywhere else, that either (a) you report a complaint, and if you want them to file and pursue it, it seems you pay for the privilege; or (b) the police and prosecutor could open cases on their own if something serious comes to their attention.

Then they would use (a) as the route for more trivial, less important problems.

(However, assumptions are dangerous…)

Nearly all countries with civil law systems have them because someone reforming the system though it was a good idea. There are very few jurisdictions which have civil law systems because Napoleon forced it on them and it stuck - France, Quebec, Louisiana, some of the constituent bits of modern Germany, and that’s about it.

Greece does have a civil law system, though.

Would you consider it fair to ask whether speeding tickets are the same all over NAFTA?

No, because you know that the laws and the legal bodies involved are completely different ones. Same with the EU and anything involving their many police bodies.