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Eurogroup Takes Up Case of former Greek Statistics Chief

June 21, 2018

Greece’s creditors will review the ongoing prosecution of the former head of Greece’s statistics agency convicted of breach of duty on charges of faking numbers to require the country to get a bailout despite his backing from European, United States and world statistics agencies who said he’s being persecuted for political reasons to find a scapegoat for the country’s economic crisis.

The Eurogroup, which prepares details for the Eurozone finance chiefs, said it would review the case of Andreas Georgiou after Greece’s Supreme Court recently upheld a suspended two-year prison sentence.

He left Greece for the United States but has continued to denounce repeated prosecutions the government kept piling on even after he had been acquitted on some charges.

A lower court had handed down a suspended sentence in August 2017, finding him guilty of not getting approval by the then board of the Greek statistics ELSTAT before transmitting the 2009 deficit figures to Eurostat – which confirmed the numbers were accurate.

Georgiou will also face for the third time charges over accusations he falsified budget data to justify Greece’s first international bailout. He has already been cleared twice in judgments by the Council of Appeals Court Judges.

Speaking at a European Central Bank forum in Sintra, Portugal, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said the EU needs assurance there’s no political meddling in statistics for political reasons.
Despite an international outcry he’s being persecuted for refusing to falsify data, Georgiou, a former staffer of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., one of the country’s creditors, keeps being taking to trial.

Georgiou will also face for the third time charges over accusations he falsified budget data to justify a first bailout of 110 billion euros ($129.6 billion) in 2010 when the former PASOK Socialists in power.

He has already been cleared twice in judgments by the Council of Appeals Court Judges but with no double jeopardy laws successive governments, now the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, keep coming after him.

Criminal charges of making a false statement were first brought against Georgiou in 2013 after members of the then existing board for ELSTAT accused Georgiou and other ELSTAT statisticians of artificially inflating Greek budget figures in 2009 but there’s evidence of any wrongdoing by him.

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