Thousands of Greeks are crying foul of the irony of their nation’s judiciary over a case that has captivated the nation.
In the late 1990s politicians ruling Greece knowingly falsified their entire national accounting records to cheat their way into the Eurozone. Not a single one of those politicians ever faced trial of justice— even after a stinging rebuke from European Union officials.
Two decades later, a cleaning lady has been sentenced to 10 years in a Greek prison for lying about her elementary school record.
The government cleaning job she applied for required a grammar school diploma with six years of elementary school. She had only completed five years.
The 53-year-old woman was working at a publicly-funded nursery for 15 years until a review of staff revealed she had doctored a certificate documenting her primary education.
A regional court handed down the sentence on charges of defrauding the public, according to the semi-official Athens News Agency.
Until about three or four decades ago it was not uncommon for Greek children to drop out of school, particularly in rural areas, and help their families.
The subject has blown up Greek social media channels and almost 30,000 people have signed a petition demanding fairness and freedom for the jailed cleaning lady.
— GEORGOPALIS (@georgopalis) November 22, 2018
The petition has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter by Greeks enraged with the harsh sentence, as well as the irony of a poor, working class woman going to jail for a crime that has been repeatedly committed by many in government and on a much more massive scale.
Hundreds took to Twitter with the hashtag #καθαριστρια (Greek for cleaning lady) citing historic examples of politicians falsifying Greece’s financial records and the cleaning lady’s 10-year prison sentence.
— Stahulis Sp (@sstahulis1) November 23, 2018
In a unique rebuke of the judiciary, the ruling Syriza party said in an official statement that the woman’s sentence “offends the sense of common justice and shakes citizens’ trust in the judiciary.”
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