GDP data answer by fall

The government will have to wait until July, or October at the latest, to learn whether the European Commission approves or not of Greece’s gross domestic product revision by 26 percent, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said yesterday. In response to a question by Synaspismos Left Coalition MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis, Almunia offered a series of details concerning the revision and an interesting timetable about the revision’s key dates so far. He said that on September 22, 2006, the Greek government forwarded to the Commission the revised data of GDP and the gross national product (GNP), from which a revision of more than 26 percent stems. Eurostat submitted this revised data at end-October 2006 to the Gross National Revenue Committee of member states for a preliminary study. The committee issued a statement according to which it said it had not received sufficient information about the revised data and the methodological changes announced by the Greek government. The committee considered it essential that the Greek government cooperate fully with Eurostat, providing a revised version of the gross national revenue list that explained in detail the new sources and methods used for national accounts so that Eurostat could verify the new data with precision and submit the results of that verification to the committee. Athens submitted the revised version of the gross national revenue list to Eurostat on February 6, 2007, in the form of a 460-page document in Greek. This is currently being translated into English. Once the translation is complete, Eurostat will analyze the list in detail and send a mission to Greece. Experts from other member states will also be invited to participate in the mission to insure absolute transparency, as in the case of other member states. The conclusions of the mission will be discussed first with the Greek government, whose opinion will be taken into account. At the end of the mission, Eurostat will present a full valuation report on the revised data of GDP and GNP to the committee for a full discussion. This specific valuation report is expected to be submitted to the committee in July or October 2007. «Only once all appropriate steps are taken will the committee calculate the additional contribution,» stated Almunia.

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