European Commission reiterates its support for former ELSTAT chief


The European Commission has “full confidence in the reliability and accuracy of data by the statistical authority in Greece under Mr Georgiou's leadership,” Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Marianne Thyssen told a meeting of European parliament's plenary on Wednesday night.

Her comments came during a discussion on the independence of statistical authorities that addressed the continued prosecution of the former head of the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) Andreas Georgiou, who served from 2010 to 2015 and has been accused of falsifying budget data in order to justify Greece’s first international bailout.

“The Commission neither comments on ongoing development of national judicial proceedings nor assesses the impact of court decisions that are not final and irrevocable,” Thyssen added. “That said, I can understand that the staff of ELSTAT may feel that they are not protected enough to do their jobs effectively and independently.”

Georgiou has denied wrongdoing, saying he merely followed EU rules in measuring the country's deficit. EU authorities have said his work was accurate.

The Commission, said Thyssen, “has continuously followed developments in Greece and also repeatedly expressed its concern in public statements and directly to Greek authorities.”