GREECE - The European Court of Justice has told the Greek government it must increase the women's state pensions age for people working in the civil service and military as current rules discriminate in the favour of mothers especially and therefore penalise men.

A judgement made on 26 March but only just released by the ECJ stated, in the case of the European Commission v Greece, the differences between men and women concerning pensionable age and length of service under the Greek civil and military pensions code are "incompatible with [European] community law".

The EC has been pursuing this matter for some years against Greece as it believes the terms under which men are treated are unequal and are therefore less favourable to men than women.

The ECJ acknowledged the differences correspond to the social roles of men and women and the likely financial impact a shorter working life could have on women as a result.

But it ruled the Greek government's legislation is "contrary to the principle of equal treatment" if it allowed different employment age conditions and minimum periods of service depending on the individual's sex and comparable situations.

Authorities say the government must ensure they do all they can to help women "conduct their professional lives on an equal footing with men".

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