EU institutions are liable for Greek bailout damage, former UN official says

By Sarantis Michalopoulos
Nov 20, 2018

The damage caused by austerity-driven bailouts in Greece could raise the issue of legal liability of the EU institutions and possible compensation, according to Olivier de Schutter, a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

“The level of the damage could raise the EU liability but the problem is identifying those who have been affected directly by the austerity measures and who could take the case to the court,” he said.

De Schutter said Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU “states very clearly that the damage caused as a result of the fault of the EU institutions is damage that should be compensated for”.

“I know some people are thinking about this and I’ve been asked to provide advice on this possibility,” he added.

De Schutter, who served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008 to 2014, commented on a report released on 20 November, which concluded that the austerity measures taken during the Greek crisis led to a violation of the right to food.

He noted that the right to food was simply ignored when austerity measures were designed and implemented in Greece.