Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Yanis Varoufakis: 'Why is the 2009 Greek government deficit probed by the courts, again?'


Greek judges are, again, moving against Mr Georgiou, the Head of ELSTAT (the revamped Greek national statistics bureau). Why is this happening? And what does it signify?

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It was the end of 2011 when the Head of the revamped Greek national statistics bureau was summoned to answer allegations of having inflated the 2009 budget deficit, at the behest of the Papandreou-Papakonstadinou government, allegedly in order to justify a further tightening of the austerity measures that went hand in hand with Greece’s ‘Bailout’ Mk1 and the Memorandum of Understanding with the troika that accompanied it.

Back then I recall being interviewed on the matter by BBC Radio 4’s More or Less program. Was the deficit inflated? And if so, was it done on purpose?

My answer was that, in truth, I am not sure. My hunch is that, after ‘Greek statistics’ had become the world’s laughing stock, it was natural, and indeed, prudent, to err on the side of caution and pessimism. That the new revamped authority, ELSTAT, had good cause to fear one thing above all else: that it would be painted with the same brush as its predecessor; that its estimates of the Greek budget deficit would, once again, prove in the months that follow an ‘under-estimate’. [Click here to read the full article on Yanis Varoufakis's blog]

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