BUSINESS

ELSTAT responds to claims of unreliable statistics

In response to recent reports in the media claiming that unreliable statistics were published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, ELSTAT and Eurostat, regarding Greece’s annual fiscal figures for 2013 as these showed surpluses in social security funds and local government, the former sought to clarify matters in a statement released on Wednesday.

“In 2013 there were transfers of 4.2 billion euro and 0.7 billion euro from the subsector of Central Government to the subsector of Social Security Funds and to the subsector of Local Government, respectively, so that these two subsectors could clear arrears they had built up in previous years,” the statement read. “The transfers between the government subsectors increased the expenditures and thus the deficit of Central Government. By the same token, there was an increase in the revenues of the Social Security Funds and Local Government subsectors, and a reduction of their deficits (generation of surpluses). There was no effect on the overall deficit of the General Government. The incurring of the relevant arrears had affected the overall deficit in previous years (mostly 2011 and 2012), given that accrual accounting is applied according to European and international national accounts rules.

The agency said it regretted the fact that “analysts publishing the mistaken conclusions about unreliable statistics did not take the time to pose their question to ELSTAT if they could not understand the matter at hand but proceeded to erroneous analyses, and even jumped to the irresponsible conclusion that this was another case of the old ‘Greek statistics’ ” and urged its data users to address questions and queries to its staff.

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