Cyprus Mail

EU violating Greek constitution in statistics row, says Greek minister

Greece's parliament

A Greek minister accused the European Commission on Thursday of violating the country’s constitution when it called on Athens to quash allegations that its former statistics agency chief had rigged data to help creditors.

The intervention by Deputy Justice Minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos added fuel to a spat between Athens and the Commission over former statistics chief Andreas Georgiou.

Georgiou, a former International Monetary Fund statistician, was highly regarded in Brussels when he ran the Greek statistics agency ELSTAT during five years of economic crisis until 2015.

But he is now in court, facing accusations – which he denies – that he may have helped Athens’ foreign creditors, including his former employer, by exaggerating Greece’s public debt problems.

Vouching for the data submitted by ELSTAT from 2010 to 2015, which were validated by EU statistics office Eurostat, EU Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen on Wednesday called on Athens to actively challenge impressions that data were manipulated. A letter was sent to Athens to this end.

“The letter … directly violates not only Greece’s constitution but the European institutional (laws) as well,” Papangelopoulos said.

“(EU officials) effectively are asking the Greek government to intervene in the independent Greek justice system in favour of Mr. Georgiou, who is being probed for possibly having committed culpable acts,” he said.

Thyssen, who oversees Eurostat, told reporters on Wednesday that Georgiou had no case to answer.

Georgiou was appointed head ELSTAT in 2010 with a mandate to restore the credibility of Greek statistics a few months after the country’s debt crisis erupted.

Related posts

Johnson to tell EU’s Tusk UK won’t pay 39 bln stg under no-deal Brexit -Sky News

Reuters News Service

‘We cannot remain silent over Amazon fires,’ says Merkel

Press Association

Thousands march in Hong Kong as police in black masks look on

Reuters News Service

Paris prosecutor opens inquiry into whether Epstein committed crimes in France

Reuters News Service

France’s Macron to push for charter on biodiversity at G7 summit

Reuters News Service

As Amazon fires rage, Brazil tells diplomats to fix image

Reuters News Service


Comments are closed.