NEWS

Judges blast Commission for response to court ruling

TAGS: Justice, EU

Greece’s Union of Judges and Prosecutors issued a stern response Thursday to concerns expressed by the European Commission over the conviction of the Hellenic Statistical Authority’s former chief for breach of duty. “The sound interpretation and application of laws is assigned by the Constitution to judicial authorities, whose judgment cannot be influenced by political considerations, duress or admonishments,” it said.

On Wednesday, a Commission spokeswoman said that Andreas Georgiou’s conviction for failing to inform ELSTAT’s governing board about the release of budget deficit data in 2010 would be scrutinized by the Eurogroup amid concerns that it could affect the authority’s independence.

The ruling has also been challenged by international media, with the Financial Times citing a European statistics expert called as a defense witness who described the case as “an intimidating preset farce” with “open threatening behavior” in court.

According to an analysis in the Politico Europe weekly, meanwhile, “Georgiou has arguably become a scapegoat for politicians... trying to deflect responsibility for Greece’s fiscal problems.”

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