NEWS

ASA decries slander ruling for Greek former statistician

asa-decries-slander-ruling-for-greek-former-statistician

The American Statistical Association Board (ASA) issued a new press release condemning a Greek appeals court decision last month finding former Greek chief statistician Andreas Georgiou liable for slander.

“The American Statistical Association is deeply concerned that a false narrative has damaged the scientific integrity of highly regarded work addressing Greece’s problematic fiscal statistical reporting from the 2000s,” the association said. 

“Persecuting a scientific government official for doing his job with rigor and integrity to produce official statistics is deeply concerning. The American Statistical Association recommends that this injustice be recognized and remedied,” it added, noting that Georgiou was used as “the scapegoat” for the austerity measures put in place with the EU and International Monetary Fund.

“We urge Greece to end its now 10-year persecution of Georgiou and fully exonerate him, thereby signaling Greece’s commitment to accurate and ethical government statistics,” added ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein. 

Last month’s ruling concerned a companion civil suit for simple slander for which, in 2017, Georgiou was ordered to pay damages and publish large parts of the convicting decision as a “public apology.”

While the most recent ruling had the positive news of dropping the public apology penalty, “the ASA sees the continued perpetration of a false narrative and persecution of an honest and highly capable official statistician as an injustice, a violation of Georgiou’s human rights, and a detriment to Greece’s reputation and economy,” says Wasserstein.