The sudden resignation of Council of State president Nikos Sakellariou yesterday, due to his barbs and denunciation of bailout memorandum policies, has triggered a judicial and political backlash, not least because Sakellariou in the past has charged that the government has meddled in the judiciary.

Sakellariou said that a leak of the forthcoming decision that will rule constitutional a law mandating pension cuts was the cause for his resignation.

The resignation is a strong blow to the government, and the main opposition, which itself has charged egregious government intervention in the judiciary, hastened to exploit it.

Indeed, Sakellariou’s resignation served to confirm the leak, that an opinion judging forthcoming pension cuts constitutional is in the making.

The case is still under deliberation as regards other elements of the law overhauling the pension system, but the decision on the legality of the pension cuts, as the leak indicated, was approved in a 13-12 vote on the bench.

Some of Sakellariou’s colleagues saw his resignation as an heroic exit, just one month before his term as president of the high court would have ended anyway. Others noted that there have in the past been leaks of rulings in advance, but no one resigned.