On December 19, the Constitutional Court unanimously rejected the changes in the pension system, which would have led to a 10 per cent cut in public sector pensions, leaving the government with a €400m hole in the 2014 state budget.

The Court ruled that efforts to cut state expenditure could not be judged a greater priority than the rights acquired by civil servants throughout their careers, and branded the law unconstitutional for “violating the principle of trust protection".

The government is expected to announce its response to the court ruling on December 20.