PASOK deputies seek deficit probe

A group of PASOK MPs on Thursday tabled a motion for Parliament to launch its own investigation into Greece?s 2009 public deficit statistics, an issue that has been a major bone of contention between the Socialists and New Democracy.

A total of 108 PASOK deputies signed the motion, which calls for a committee to investigate what factors and which officials played a part in Greece?s deficit and debt reaching dangerous levels in 2009. The lawmakers also called for a probe into the failures in Greece?s statistics service that led to its figures being questioned.

PASOK has argued that the New Democracy government it took over from in October 2009 had tried to disguise the true size of Greece?s deficit. The conservatives argue that PASOK inflated the figures to damage ND politically.

Financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis asked Parliament earlier this month to probe claims by two former employees at the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) that the 2009 deficit was artificially inflated.