Thursday, August 25, 2016

Former Greek chief statistician gets backing from Brussels

by Arthur Beesley

Financial Times

August 24, 2016

Brussels has urged Athens to repudiate claims that Greece’s national statistics agency produced false data under its former chief, intervening in a domestic criminal case that has angered the country’s international lenders.

The European Commission’s call for Greece to back Elstat, the country’s statistical body, has also raised questions over its bailout loans. Athens is required to uphold public support for the country’s statistics as a condition for international aid.

The commission stopped short of demanding a halt to criminal proceedings against Andreas Georgiou, who faces trial over allegations that Elstat inflated deficit figures, which supported the case for years of harsh austerity in a succession of bailouts. Mr Georgiou has denied any wrongdoing.

“The commission and Eurostat continue to have full confidence in the quality and reliability of the data delivered by Elstat during the term of office of Mr Georgiou,” the commission said in a letter to Athens on Wednesday.


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