NEWS

Eurostat defends ELSTAT chief

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has defended Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) chief Andreas Georgiou (photo) against allegations that his office falsified the 2009 budget deficit to make the country?s financial crisis look worse so it could qualify to receive international aid.

Georgiou has been asked to provide evidence on December 12 as a suspect in the probe that could prompt charges of ?breach of faith? if the state is proved to have suffered damages as a result of his actions.

In a statement published on Friday, Eurostat said Greece?s data for 2009 and 2010 had been compiled ?with a high level of professionalism? and praised the Greek official for his contribution.