NEWS

ELSTAT chief to testify in probe

The head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Andreas Georgiou, is to testify on December 12 in a criminal investigation into claims that his office falsely inflated Greece?s budget deficit in 2009 to make the country?s debt crisis look worse so that it could qualify for an international bailout.

Georgiou, who has denied any wrongdoing, has not yet been charged with any offense in the probe, which was launched following allegations made in September by Zoe Georganta, a former employee of ELSTAT.

Shortly after she was dismissed from the service, Georganta claimed that 2009 deficit data had been artificially inflated from around 12-13 percent to 15.4 percent of gross domestic product.

The allegations of Georganta, who gave a six-hour deposition to a prosecutor probing the case, have reportedly been supported by Nikos Logothetis, the former vice president of (ELSTAT).

Logothetis denies charges that he hacked into the e-mail account of Georgiou.