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Society

Greece’s Cleared Ex-Statistics Chief Wants EU Court’s Support

ATHENS – Andreas Georgiou, former head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT,) asked the European Court of Human Rights to condemn Greece for a two-year suspended sentence given him over his handling of data during an economic crisis.

Georgiou, who now lives in the US, led ELSTAT from 2010-15 when Greece began seeking what turned into three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($348.19 billion) that came with harsh austerity.

That was needed to prop up an economy brought to the edge of collapse by wild overspending from successive governments and patronage, hiring people by the thousands to get votes.

Georgiou, a noted economist who was backed by the European Union which found no wrongdoing in his assessments, was nevertheless targeted by Greek governments in what he said was an attempt to make him a scapegoat.

He was also twice cleared by courts but without double jeopardy laws to protect people acquitted in Greece, governments kept going after him despite international condemnation and ridicule of them.

He received a two-year suspended sentence over his handling of how ELSTAT’s board of directors had been briefed, was acquitted of that initially but found guilty by an appeals court, said Kathimerini.

He then appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Supreme Court, requesting that it refer a question to the EU court to clarify how European law considers the responsibility of statistics officials.

 

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