November 28, 2011
Greece's statistics chief will testify next month in a criminal investigation into allegations that his office falsified the budget deficit to make the country's financial crisis look worse, court officials said Monday.
The head of the newly independent statistics service ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou, denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any offence in the investigation, stemming from allegations made by a former ELSTAT board member.
Georgiou and court sources said he had been asked to provide evidence on December 12 as a suspect in the probe that could prompt charges of "breach of faith" if the state is proved to have suffered damages by his actions.
"It is an unprecedented case of statisticians being investigated for producing figures under EU regulations," he told Reuters. "Any attempt to manage statistics in the national interest is a recipe for disaster."