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COVID-19 and Greece: How to Hold a General Meeting in the Middle of Coronavirus

posted 4 years ago

Coronavirus does not constitute an
obstacle, learn how the General Assembly of your Company is held during this
difficult period.

Our country is facing one of the most
significant crises in its history, due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly known
as Coronavirus, which has already counted many victims. For this reason, the
government imposed strict measures on 20.03.2020 to limit the spread of the
virus, including total transport and concentration bans.

The Legislative Act “Urgent measures
to address the consequences of the risk of spread of coronavirus COVID-19, the
support of the society and entrepreneurship and the ensurance of the smooth
operation of the market and public administration.”
(Government Gazette A
’68 / 20-03-2020) provides the right to companies and to each legal entity to
hold the General Meeting of the members via teleconference. In particular,
paragraph 2 of Article 33 of the above legislative act states that “The General
Meeting of Shareholders or Members of any legal person or any legal entity, may
be held via teleconference for all or some of its members. In this case, the
invitation to the members of the General Assembly includes the necessary
information and technical instructions for their participation in the meeting. This
right is granted to legal entities until 30.06.2020″.

The right of teleconference concerns every
company, regardless of its corporate form, even if it’s not provided in the
articles of association!

It is important that this right, meaning
the holding of the General Assembly via teleconference, is provided to all
legal entities, regardless of whether it is included in their Articles of
Association or not.

At this point, it is wise to say that this
right was already granted by law, but many companies had not included it in
their Articles of Association. For example, it is possible that a number of
Sociétés Anonymes have not yet harmonized the provisions of their Articles of
Association with Law 4548/2018, on “Reforming the Law of Public Companies”,
which provides the right to S.A. to hold General Assembly via teleconference.

As far as the Board of Directors is
concerned, this legislative act was amended on 30.03.2020 and now it includes
provisions for the meeting of the Board of Directors.

Technology now allows easy access to a
number of electronic conference platforms and the members/shareholders are able
to participate directly in the General Meetings of the Companies even if they
are not present. It is important that if the General Meeting is finally decided
to be held by the above deadline, meaning 30.06.2020, the invitation must
include detailed information on the platform in order for the
members/shareholders to gain access and exercise their rights.

Characteristic examples are well-known
Greek companies which, had implemented preventive and protective measures for
the virus spread, before the implementation of the emergency measures, posting
on their website a ballot for remote voting by which shareholders could vote on
the issues of the Generable Assembly in advance; while at the same they could
also attend the proceedings via teleconference.

Our office, having remarkable experience in
legal support of all legal entities, fully trained and with social sensitivity
is able to support your company in order to hold the General Assembly legally
and validly, so that members/shareholders to exercise their rights by voting
and deciding on company’s issues.

Please contact us for any further
information and/or clarification.


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