Damned truths and statistics

At last, some good news in a sea of bad publicity: Greece seems to have restored some of its tarnished credibility regarding its recording and processing of statistical economic data.

The statistical office of the European Commission, Eurostat, has accepted the data provided recently by the Greek statistical service without making any corrections.

This news marks a positive development because it demonstrates that the country does indeed have responsible staff who, given the proper leadership, have nothing to envy from their European counterparts.

That is the good news. The bad news, of course, is that Greece?s deficit is at 10.5 percent of economic output, which means that even if the country?s debt were to be canceled overnight, it would still not be able to survive without borrowing.

The government of Prime Minister George Papandreou must brave the political cost and take the necessary steps to reduce the size of the public sector.

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