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Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Fraudulent Executioner Of The Greek People?

Much has been said about the former head of ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou, but when one reads this article one really wonders that there is no uproar among serious people in Greece.

Greece's least wanted man lives in Maryland

The executioner of the Greek people? Criminal slander for calling Greece's previous statistics fraudulent? C'mon!

On 2 October 2009, the Greek government (New Democracy) formally notified Eurostat that the 2009 deficit was expected at 6% of GDP. Exactly one week later, the governor of the Bank of Greece informed the new government (PASOK) that the deficit for 2009 would reach, if not exceed, 12%. By November 2009, the government settled on the figure of 12,7% as the most likely deficit figure for 2009. In April 2010, ELSTAT corrected this figure to 13,6%.

And in October 2010, Andreas Georgiou, as the new head of ELSTAT, revised the final figure to 15,4%.

It seems quite obvious that Andreas Georgiou singlehandedly executed the Greek people!

147 comments:

  1. What about his predecessors? Those who manipulated the numbers so Greece could join the EZ. Are they behind bars?

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    1. No, because they are in league with the Pasok mafia who are still running Greece by having joined Syriza. And don't forget that Germany rewarded all the central bankers and politicians who pushed hard for Greece to enter the eurozone. This is not only the fault of Greek politicians, but also France, Germany and Eurostat.

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  2. He is an ex-IMF guy so what's the big deal? He does not come across as either charismatic or particularly competent. He probably used whatever figures he was told to use by his bosses. And his bosses were the Greek people because he was an unelected bureaucrat. Who cares what happens to him? They could hang, draw and quarter him in the public square for all I care.

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    1. Correction: And his bosses were NOT the Greek people.

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    2. And because the Greek people were his boss he was supposed to cook the books?

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    3. The Greek people were not his bosses. He was unaccountable.

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  3. Such treatment is a fantastic publicity for repelling overseas Greeks who somehow thought of helping their old country.

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    1. In what ways the insignificant Georgiou is a repellent for action by overseas Greeks? What action, where?

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  4. I doubt that the Greek diaspora has any respect left for Greeks. That they love Greece I can well understand.

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  5. We have been here before. Andreas Georgiou is hated (as is George Papandreou) by Greeks because they said that Greece had been lying for 10 years and still did. It is considered un-Greek. They are not being judged by law, but by prevailing culture, values and moral, the truth does not play into it at all. Why Nation Fails? Weak institutions.
    Lennard

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    1. Sorry but what you say is revisionism of the worst kind. Georgiou is a low ranking bureaucrat who is truly insignificant in any way.

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    2. Could you please explain what you mean by "revisionism of the worst kind"? And why do politicians and the justice system in in Greece prosecute this "low ranking bureaucrat who is truly insignificant in any way."

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    3. It's called due process. Who the independent judicial system puts on trial is no business of the political class. Politicos might have opinions about it but they can not meddle with the judicial system. The low ranking and insignificant bureaucrat will have his day in court and if he is proven innocent then he will not go to jail. It's that simple.

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    4. Please help me out. I thought the independent judicial system put Georgiou on trial but dismissed the case in the second level. And then the Supreme Court re-opened the case. Is that correct? Normally, a Supreme Court does not act on its own. It responds to actions brought before it. Who brought the request to re-open the case before the Supreme Court?

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    5. Another questions: who is handling the case now, the Supreme Court or a lower court. If the Supreme Court opens a case on its own and rules, the affected party no longer has recourse.

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    6. Of course once a case is brought to the Supreme Court its decision is final; that's why we call it Supreme Court. Usually it's the lower courts that might act politically motivated because judge so and so is with Pasok or ND. So the fact that a lower court dismissed the charges does not mean that the lower court was not biased. Again it's usually the supreme court that remains unbiased because its participants can not hold a higher rank or be influenced by political affiliations in order to achieve such rank. By the way do you think that any of the present participants of the supreme court have any Syriza affiliations? Because that would be a categoric NO. It takes years for the supreme court justices to be elevated to such position and all of them for timing reasons have more affiliation to the old system which has already collapsed. So in the event the Supreme Court finds this idiot guilty it would be the old system of ND and Pasok that did it; not Syriza. Syriza has no influence with the current Supreme Court.

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    7. In response to your question of who brought the action to the Supreme Court, I don't know who. But it is usually the attorneys of the losing side at the lower court that observed some legal gaps in the case or they thought the lower court judge glossed over important details that usually decide to pursue the case to the highest level. And the level of scrutiny at the supreme court level is very different with the weight of the evidence at the lower courts. Supreme court judges might also address constitutionality issues whereas a lower court judge might sometimes say that even he disagrees with law because it's a badly written law and his job is to enforce the bad law no matter what. Only the Supreme Court could examine whether the spirit of the law was observed and whether the decision of the lower court was just and appropriate.

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    8. Some comments relevant to several posts here. First of all, anyone with any knowledge of the Greek legal system (and especially of the Council of State and the Supreme Court) knows that the quality of justice is at Third World levels. The judges frequently do not know basic aspects of law, refuse to implement correctly rulings of the CJEU and of course have no interest in the judgments of the ECtHR. Moreover, a high proportion of senior judges are explicitly corrupt, caught up in political patronage and financial self-interest. The idea of an independent Greek judiciary would be hilarious, were it not so serious.
      ~
      As for the role of politics, it is indeed the case that Syriza has been in political power for too short a time to have appointed their friends, relatives and household pets as judges. However, this is to ignore the large number of Pasok mafia who joined Syriza in order to maintain their power and wealth. These people are running Greece; these people are able to direct judges. Also, ND is still a serious political power: they are also interfering with the judicial process at every possible opportunity.
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      So, the idea that there can ever be a serious independent examination of the legal situation concerning the conduct of the fomer director of ELSTAT is just propaganda. This is due not only to the corruption and general ignorance of the law by the judiciary, but also to their inability to comprehend things such as statistical data and methods of collection and compilation, not to mention interpretation. If these crooks cannot grasp law correctly, then obviously they stand no chance with economic statistical data.

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    9. What's so complicated with statistical data? It's the simplest form of number analysis and 5-year olds could understand the craft. And how about the arbitrary interpretation of petroleum related statistics by Georgiou? You mean Georgiou did not manipulate numbers related to energy to show economy stabilizing when in fact the economy was plunging without a safety net? Of course Georgiou acted as a puppet of both Brussels and the IMF and he deserves his comeuppance. He was in full manipulated clown mode; a fanatical Taliban with a mission to destroy under the cloak of reform.

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    10. To the fellow above who is professing that the quality of the Greek law is so bad that it automatically places the IMF puppet Georgiou above the law. This is the largest pile of BS that I have head lately and it is quite odious too.

      So according to your logic Georgiou is untouchable no matter what. Well, I have news for you. Georgiou is very much a subject of Greek law which at the end he will be forced to obey whether he likes it or not.

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    11. Reading the above, one gets the impression that there is one person to blame for Greece's miseries, Andreas Georgiou, and that the Greek judicial system is near-perfect. Since the latter is in complete contradiction with what I have read about the Greek judicial system in recent years, I googled a bit and came up with, as examples, the following:

      "I go over international indicators measuring de jure and de facto legal quality so as to put the devastating situation that one observes in Greek courts into a global perspective" - http://greekeconomistsforreform.com/wp-content/uploads/injustice_Papaioannou.pdf

      "The Greek judicial system is in critical condition" - http://www.ekathimerini.com/163295/article/ekathimerini/comment/the-greek-judicial-system-in-critical-condition

      "Studies from 2011 show that the processing times of civil (and administrative) proceedings in Greece are very long according to European standards.[2] From a random sample – reliable figures on processing times are not available – it appeared that in 65 percent of the cases no – final – verdict was made after five years and in 20 percent not even after ten years. The sample included outliers with cases which ran for 26 and even 33 years. While the reduction of backlogs is a condition for the acceleration, the backlogs of Greek courts are only increasing. Despite the long duration of procedures the influx of new cases continues to increase, apparently related to the fact that an economic crisis simply leads to more (civil) litigation.[3] The high rate of appeal further contributes to this. The costs of appeal are relatively low and experience shows that judgements are often not upheld on appeal, because the higher court ‘thinks otherwise’, which obviously has a magnetic effect. To complete the chaos, it appears that 40 percent of the cases which are tried by the highest civil court (the ‘Areios Pagos’) must be redone due to purely formal grounds (procedural flaws). Quite a few cases will be rotated several times between judges at various levels before finally coming to a final substantive judgement" - http://blog.montaignecentre.com/index.php/184/dutch-help-for-the-greek-civil-justice-system-eddy-bauw/

      "We present evidence of poor justice quality that can be also used to interpret the Greek case focusing on the quality of the judiciary and on inefficiencies in legal service markets" -http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10657-009-9128-4


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    12. So ND and PASOK are disappointed that their own judicial appointments are not working as planned? That those they appointed as judges are now not reliable in blocking Syriza enough?

      And that because one could find sour grapes opinions on the Internet from those rejected by the system that Georgiou can't be tried in Greek courts?

      Are you out of your mind?

      In what possible way ELSTAT statistics ever helped anyone? Helped to do what?

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    13. Again Kleingut you are falling into the same trap. Your thesis is that the judicial system is so bad therefore no one deserves to tried. And since Georgiou can't get acquittal it means basically that we better leave the Georgiouses of this world untried and therefore above the law. Nice try; now go and sell this nonsense to every biased EU clown who might be willing to listen to such self-serving gospel of self-righteousness.

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    14. Strange. I didn't put forward a thesis at all. I just listed a couple of links, all authored by Greeks. Perhaps you should beware of trapping yourself into believing that everyone else is setting up traps. And, if time permits, you could comment on the links which I published instead of answering questions that nobody asked.

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    15. I'll tell you what is strange. Georgiou living in Maryland and basically unemployed is strange, If he is that good in what he does how come no one wants to hire him? How come no one wants to offer him a job? Not even as a consultant? A consultant of what? To advise clients of how to be opinionated and rigid as well as avoid cooperating with others? A think Georgiou represents a case of rotten professional apples because if he was anywhere good as you think he would be in great demand right now. And he was chosen from an on line application? Now that's even stranger of all? Who did the choosing? and who were the other candidates he was competing against for the job?

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    16. I know nothing about Georgiou's merits or demerits: however, these are not relevant. The issue is whether a high-ranking state employee can have a legal action brought against him by ignorant people with no knowledge of the subject, simply for their political beliefs. The clear LEGAL answer should be NO, and the fact that it is not reveals Greece as being an unfit country to participae in the European Union. Maybe we can form a common market with Khazakstan and nearby countries, where actions like this are thought to be quite normal. Effectively, there is no rule of law -- and the primary culprits in perpetuating this state of affairs are the lawyers and judges themselves. If they were to be judged for their professional competence, most of them would end up in gaol or unemployed.

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  6. I think the establishment of internationally valid and politically independent statistics is the single most useful structural reform that has been achieved.

    the fact that he's been pursued so long, on an entirely imaginary basis, speaks volumes about the political culture of the country. Objectivity is seen, apparently, as impossible to achieve. Everything is a political football.

    The ELSTAT board wanted to *vote* on the height of the state deficit, for goodness' sake! Like a vote changes the figures?

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    1. How did you get this? I have no idea what you are talking about.

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  7. Voting seems to work well for the IMF... ;-)
    https://www.cigionline.org/sites/default/files/cigi_paper_no.61web.pdf
    http://www.ieo-imf.org/ieo/files/completedevaluations/EAC__REPORT%20v5.PDF

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  8. That the establishment of an independent ELSTAT was a blessing is true. Do not expect it to last forever; it is the only independent institution in Greece.
    That they wanted to vote on the result of 2 plus 2 is no surprise, it has a long tradition here, they call it direct democracy. It is convenient for the politicians, and for their constituents as well, they never feel comfortable with the truth.

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  9. It is not direct democracy but ochlocracy (Greeks do like their fancy words). We know it as mob rule, governing by violence or intimidation, the next step is often lynching. It is common in third world countries where institutions have not yet been established, it can also be observed in failed nations where institutions have broken down.
    Wikepedia has a very interesting "in depth" definition of the concept.
    Lennard

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    1. Lennard, the representative democracy practiced today would be recognized by the Greeks as an oligarchy. There is nothing democratic about the unelected Brussels bureaucrats and the despotic monstrosity called the EU.

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    2. Right, Greece is not ruled by the Kleptocrat Gauleiter of the Troika but by the ochlos.

      Lennard reading too much Ayn Rand is very bad for your mental health.

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  10. If they want to hang him they will find a body to pronounce the verdict, even if they have to take to the streets to do so.

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  11. There seem to be confusion about the role of the Greek judiciary. The president of the Council of State has cleared it up for us now. When asked how he views the purpose of Greece's independent judiciary, Sakellariou pointed to the high courts battle to prevent cuts to the pensions. "Judges duty is to feel the pulse of Greek society, so we can give it a push forward".
    The sheer clarity and graveness of his words is amazing, just like Delphi.
    Lennard

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    1. Yes, they clearly do not see their role as interpreting the law -- which is what the judiciary does in developed countries. Of course, it would be very difficult for them to do so, as their grasp of law is very weak. It's much easier just to talk crap about Greek society -- of which they know nothing at all, anyway. Interestingly, the Council of State did not block cuts to any pensions other than their own and senior military staff. Do they REALLY think that the Greek people want those on high pensions to have no cuts, while those on very low, low and average pensions have massive cuts?

      These crooks take us all for fools.

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    2. As it turns out Sakelariou said nothing of the kind. It was the judge presiding in the TV license review case that said that in times like these he interpreted his job to mean finding the pulse of the Greek people and deliver justice and that he needed not highly agitated judges in the decision panel but judges who are calmed down and deliberate at their jobs. To which ND claimed foul because ND can't get the decision out of this court that suits her. So according to ND this is a sign of social crisis and corruption. But if ND gets the decision it wants everything returns back to normal. For as long as decisions are in ND's favor then justice is restored in Greece. If ND can't get the decisions it wants something is rotten and very corrupt.

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    3. By the way Sakellariou is a she not a he.

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  12. Because a great deal of empty opinion (including Googling the Greek judicial system) has been offered here, time to take some stock of the true facts of the case.

    The Supreme Court, with its no. 1331/2016 decision, accepted in part the appeal of Xeni Demetrius, at the time when she was deputy prosecutor of the Supreme Court (currently prosecutor of the Supreme Court) against the No. no. 1149/2015 Decree of the Appeals Council, concerning the former president of the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) Andreas Georgiou, thus referring him anew for a new judgment to the Appeals Council with the felony charges of false certification, in addition to the misdemeanor offense of the breach of duty for which he has already been referred.

    In particular, the Criminal Department overturned the decision no. 1149/2015 Decree, in the part that it deemed that Georgiou and the two heads of ELSTAT services , Konstantinos Molfetas and Athanasias Xenakis, were not be charged with false certification against the State with high stake aggravating circumstances.

    The false statement was used in 2009 to introduce Greece to the status of memorandums because of the swelling of the deficit.

    Thus, the case will be heard again in the Appeals Council.

    The issue of ELSTAT had emerged from the Athens Bar Association in 2011, with a complaint report which had been closed, but was revived in 2013 in a letter of the ABA to the Supreme Court Prosecutor.

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    1. The ABA is the Athens Bar Association which has spent most of 2016 on strike, for no reason other than whining about its pension rights and why lawyers should not be treated the same way as common people. Kala. The lawyers of Greece are more criminal than the so-called common criminals. The idea of "justice" in Greece is so far-fetched that we may as well discuss flying pigs as a tourist attraction.

      Incidentally, lest you think I have no direct experience of Greek judges... I have interacted with many, professionally, and have been appalled by their ignorance of the law, overt racism, sense of arrogant entitlement, and in many cases their obvious unsuitability to be judges even at a local flower show.

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    2. o.k. but that's a different issue. The original thesis promoted by Kleingut and others is how it it possible for Greece to "dare put on trial" Georgiou. Even worst, how is it possible to put on trial someone that in their less than perfect opinion "saved" Greece?

      As you could understand such are feeble arguments and in fact ignorant of how an independent body like the judiciary operates not only in Greece but supposedly in the entire western and mostly anglophone world.

      So what we have here is quite simple. A professional association of lawyers in Athens aka the Athena Bar Association for whatever reason brought an action in 2011 which was then revived in 2013. These were ND and Pasok years of governance and have zero to do with the present governing party Syriza.

      So, despite the fact that the lawyers of Athens are less than impressive and have disappointed you in the many interactions you had with them, their collective action as ABA has significant gravitas and actually is an action that propels the system in action. Their action can not be dismissed because you don't like them as a group and can not be ignored. As a result Georgiou will get his day in court and he will have to accept whatever punishment the court decides because this is the end of the line; no appeals and not fuss after the court's final decision.

      The rest of the BS promoted by this blog entry is pure nonsense such as:

      1. how is it possible to pursue a hero?
      2. How is it possible for a good public servant to be the executioner of Greece?
      3. How is it possible for Greece to allow this trial to go forward?

      The simple answer to the above nonsense questions is:

      a. The Greek judiciary is independent, has its own inertia and this case which was long ago initiated and finally has come up for deliberation.

      b. Greece can do nothing about stopping this trial from happening. There is absolutely no way from anyone in the present government to pick up the phone and attempt to instill some "sense" into the judges because by design these judges are not answerable to anybody but themselves and their collective process.

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    3. It's not a different issue at all. The Greek courts are not even competent to judge legal issues adequately, and most certainly are not competent to make any determination about statistical methodology. The should never have had the right to bring an action against Georgiou -- since it is obvious that political interest will guarantee that there will always be people determined to cause trouble.
      ~
      Moreover, when I requested the Synigoros toy Politi to investigate the actions of a government minister as being incompatible with EU law, they informed me that under their Charter they could not investigate the actions of any politician in his/her official capacity. So, we have the OUTRAGEOUS situation that politicians in Greece are above the law, whereas state personnel can be prosecuted for carrying out their professional activities if someone doesn't like the conclusions of their work. Can you not understand that this cannot happen in a normal developed country: this is a Third World anarchic piece of nonsense, perpetrated by incompetent and corrupt lawyers.
      ~
      If the ABA wants to do something for Greece, it should start by requiring all of its members to gain proper legal training in an overseas university of good quality. As things stand, only Afghanistan or Burundi law schools would be a lower standard than Greek ones. As for judges, these are a catastrophe: the only solution is to sack the lot.

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    4. Again I think you are making references to two different things. The competence of Greek courts has very little to do with the authority of the Supreme Court. The lower courts could be anything you wish them to be but the Supreme Court is on a different league. The judges of the Supreme Court will not be asked to interpret statistics. They will examine the evidence provided by ex-collaborators of Georgiou who apparently accused him of doing certain things wrong. The ABA is not the accuser here; Georgiou's ex-coworkers are the plaintiffs. The ABA made an appeal using a procedural process but the evidence is not fabricated by the ABA; it's based on testimony given freely by those who actually worked with Georgiou on specific matters. And unless you hear the evidence given you can't judge the jurisdiction of the court. What you are attempting to do is neither intelligent nor knowledge-based. You are just ranting about your own experience.

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    5. You appear not to grasp the simple fact that no developed country would allow this case to go anywhere, from Day One. The fact that the judges at all levels are incapable of managing a modern justice system is the issue here. You are the one with neither intelligence nor knowledge: you are merely displaying the mindless conservatism and conformism that characterises the Greek intelligentia, and is a primary reason for the mess that Greece now finds itself in. you have no intelligent comments to make, taking as axiomatic things that are blatantly absurd. It is not the right of former colleagues to go to the courts and contest the statistical techniques appproved by Eurostat, and attack the civil servant charged with running the statistical service. This is the behaviour of countries like Afghanistan or Zimbabwe, as is your pathetic defence of the nonsense.

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  13. So what are the actual deficits for Greece?
    Can Elstat or sb else responsibly declare numbers now?
    Does it takes 5-6 years to determine what the numbers are?
    What is the official data accepted by Greek government?
    Or it has not been finalized yet? Is it the work of the judicial system (supreme court etc) to finalize Greek reliable statistics?

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    1. Obviously no judicial system anywhere in the world is responsible for statistics of any kind. Law and accounting are two way different professions.

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    2. Why do you care about numbers? To tell you exactly what? To ratify the colossal errors of the incompetent EU?

      The only number that matters is that the Greek debt to GDP today stands at the stratospheric 180%, way out of range of the acceptable 60% for eurozone participants, and all the monumental failure is squarely on the shoulders of a totally incompetent EU which confuses economic science with self-serving politics.

      Greek statistics today show total devastation of a country with almost zero change of recovery and almost 100% change of a prolonged stagnation.

      No sane entity wants to invest in a country whose debt to GDP is 180% and when the idiotic whims of Brussels bureacrats would cause the seizure of private account opened for investment purposes. No one trusts the EU, period. The EU is a total joke and its only purpose is to act as a trade zone with colliding and unnecessary rules as well as crippling bureaucracies, nothing more and nothing less.

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  14. All countries manipulate their deficit statistics with logistical tricks. Greece is hardly the only one.

    That said, the curious urgency of the upwards reevaluation of the deficit by the then new PASOK government, coupled with the naked short-selling window that the Bank of Greece had left open, lead us to believe that some parts of the Greek elites wanted the crisis to escalate instead of containing it.

    Why? I do not know. Considering the drastic deterioration of both Greece and the Eurozone that has taken place since, it's hard to draw any conclusions.

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    1. If I am not mistaken when the Karamanlis government fell and Papandreou came to power, the new government found out that all hard drives from all the computers in the Finance Department were taken (instructed to be taken by the Karamanlis folks) thus leaving the new government with the task of reconstructing the numbers and/or reporting the numbers w/ a modicum of continuity to Brussels. Papandreou reported the situation to Brussels and he was told to disregard all previous deficits at 6% and instead double the deficit to 12% or so as the new starting point. The issue of Elstat reliability was created following this incident and there were several back and forth until the deficit was finally declared at 15% which immediately put Greece into a serious dangerous zone. The reactions after that were all political and not scientific. So I am not sure what any ELSTAT numbers could have done because at that point the pretext for a serious intervention was given and under no circumstances the rationale for such big intervention was ever to be withdrawn. The "false" numbers were the target that Brussels needed.

      But apart from what you heard as the truth if you think about it for a while there is no way that the lower paid Greek bureaucrats outsmarted much higher paid Brussels bureaucrats on the statistics because it was actually Brussels that was guiding the Greek bureaucrats on how to report the numbers and what to say to satisfy the Brussels bureaucratic rules.

      The part about lying is for the low IQ people. How is it possible to lie to Brussels for all these years? And what was Brussels doing all this time? asleep at the switch? Such stories are for children. The truth is whatever happened had the full complicity of the Brussels bureaucrats who for some unknown reason had decided to shield the Karamanlis government for an extended period of time (by telling them of what numbers and how to report them) and when Papandreou said the "numbers vanished" because the Karamanlis people destroyed the hard drives and left no printed copies behind for the new administration then the idea that Greece lied was conveniently invented. Greece did not lie. Karamanlis and Brussels lied once the scheme of false coverage was exposed by accident by some naive incoming Pasokers who said they had no numbers basis to verify previous estimates. To which Brussels replied "well, if you don't have numbers we will give you a new number to start with". But the new number given was as false and arbitrary as the old one. And therein lies the problem with a zealot like Georgiou who became a Taliban of statistics bent on hell to prove that everything done previously was wrong and his self-righteous new approach right because that is what he did for the IMF and for his own academic papers. So Georgiou is not an expert, he is a fanatic who came in search of a platform to justify his BS theories about how numbers are to be reported in pleasing the new authorities. Problem is that Georgiou is a nobody and his methods hardly a standard for a modern economy that's why he can't find a job nowdays. Because nobody will ever hire an opinionated lunatic like he apparently is.

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    2. Perhaps you will find this article on the subject of Greek lies interesting:

      http://www.coppolacomment.com/2015/07/lies-damned-lies-and-greek-statistics.html

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    3. Kleignut:

      Coppola is a dubious blogger such as yourself who constantly fabricates various degrees of nonsense to have a conversation. In reality she has no idea what she is talking about. She has no sources, she is scorned by the system which rejected her and the only thing she has left in her life in to construct interesting stories design to sell for the people who want to waste their time reading her uninformed commentary. If your source in explaining the Greek situation is a clown such Coppola then let's star writing volumes of nonsense beginning with Volume #1 of fabricated scenarios. Who in the know would ever talk to Coppola and why?

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    4. And what is your opinion of the author of the article, Sigrún Davídsdóttir and, more importantly, about the content of the article? Or do you generally jump to conclusions before you look at facts?

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    5. And what access do a person with the Anglophone name of Sigrún Davídsdóttir has regarding the facts and figures of the Greek statistics?

      What informed opinion would a freelance journalist from Iceland actively looking for a job have about the specifics of Greece?

      Oh, I get it. You mean if you are an out of work journalist looking desperately for a job which pays the bills, then all you have to do is to right a sensationalist article about something that is clearly outside the boundaries of your knowledge and then maybe the invitations for speakership on obscure panels and even a steady job itself might appear.

      Are you serious now that you would trust the opinion of a person with a background like this? Why?

      https://uk.linkedin.com/in/sigrun-davidsdottir-757a93b

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    6. There is a huge amount of facts in this article. I suggest you focus on those instead on Linkedin biographies. They are more relevant to the Greek case.

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  15. The delays in Greek courts are indeed a disgrace, justice delayed is justice denied. The latest figures from the World Bank says an average of 50 months, this despite the fact that all judicial employees receive a large bonus for speedy handling of cases. It seems like their wages are solely for holding their positions, if they are also required to work they must be paid bonuses.

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    1. Why don't you show us how to make the courts go faster? I am interested to hear uninformed opinions because they are very entertaining. Explain to us how an independent judiciary is to be forced to comply on the speed issue? By what means exactly? By coercive action? threats? deny them food an water until they cry uncle? Com'on Sherlock, give it your best shot.

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  16. And I would equally suggest that if you want to present any fabricated "facts" you show us directly the source so that at least we understand the source of the propaganda involved.

    Presenting the positions of an Icelander as relevant to Greece is totally out of the question. We have nothing to do with any Viking traditions, farming the cold oceans for weird fish and we don't dry said fish in Greece for food.

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    1. All the sources of the facts you find in this article:

      http://www.coppolacomment.com/2015/07/lies-damned-lies-and-greek-statistics.html

      As you will see, most of the sources are Eurostat, the authority on facts reported by member countries. One quote from a report of the EU Commission:

      "The European Commission's report detected common features with events in 2004 and 2009: a change of government. In March 2004, Kostas Karamanlis and New Democracy came to power, ending eleven years of PASOK rule; in October 2009, George Papandreou and PASOK won back power. The EC noted that in both cases: 'substantial revisions took place revealing a practice of widespread misreporting, in an environment in which checks and balances appear absent, information opaque and distorted, and institutions weak and poorly coordinated. The frequent missions conducted by Eurostat in the interval between these episodes, the high number of methodological visits, the numerous reservations to the notifications of the Greek authorities, on top of the non-compliance with Eurostat recommendations despite assurances to the contrary, provide additional evidence that the problems are only partly of a methodological nature and would largely lie beyond the statistical sphere.'"

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    2. So it's quite obvious that it was Karamanlis and the new democracy incompetence that caused all of this. This is precisely what I have been saying. And Karamanlis and New Democracy they don't represent Greece but only a corrupt political class which most likely will never come to power again.

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    3. Kleingut:

      The evidence hardly supports that Georgiou did anything of substance in producing better numbers. All he did was to use a new methodology.

      Everybody knows that Greece has a substantial grey and/or black economy which is never reported in any statistical figures. In fact today the grey economy part is bigger than ever. Therefore we can say with a high degree of certainty that Georgiou never fixed that problem. Reporting figures on 70% of the economy using a new methodology is hardly a reform and I am not sure that it is to anyone's benefit.

      Again, I will ask the same practical question: What is the use of the new "improved" statistics from Greece and why do you deem them reliable? For what purpose? What difference does it make if 45% of Greek exports are petroleum based products and the government has no clue of how to monitor actual sales of fuel products? Who collects such data and why do you think that such data are accurate? The underlying problem is not a new statistical methodology(or the absence of it) but the fact that the public sector agencies are understaffed and paralyzed. So If I were in Georgiou's shoes I would have concentrated on the reliability of data collected and the methodology of collection before such data entered the domain of ELSTAT. ELSTAT has no say or power in the way data is collected and reported by the various agencies.

      So in my opinion Georgiou has accomplished nothing of substance except the false appearances that he did something withe obviously odious Brussels support. And I believe that's why he will soon be on trial. Because instead of fixing the statistic reliability of the reported numbers (which his position never allowed him to do so in the first place) he engaged in a game of politics casting himself as the reformer when in fact he became a political tool on someone else's version of events and the false narrative that Brussels now had their man in Greece. To which I must ask: what man, where? And how can we now use his false product and for what purpose?

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    4. Your question what the use of correct statistics is is a creative one, I have to admit that. Why does a ship use a compass or GPS when it crosses the ocean? I guess the captain could just as well head roughly in the direction of the sun and eventually he will end up somewhere between North and South America.

      If your question truly is what the use of statistical information is, I am sure you have friends who can explain that to you.

      As far as I know, Georgiou did not develop any new methodologies. Eurostat's methodology is crystal clear and documented in volumes of instructions. All Georgiou did, as far as I know, was to follow the methodology in a correct way.

      The rule book for compiling statistics is written, for the EU, by Eurostat and they are obviously the best, if not the only ones who can determine whether their rules are properly followed. Up until Georgiou, Eurostat criticized that Greece had violated the rules in a big way. With Georgiou, Eurostat agreed for the first time that Greece had followed the rule book correctly.

      If someone has doubts about a company's published numbers, he goes to their auditors to ask for their opinion. If a Greek court has questions about how the national statistics were reported, they should go and ask Eurostat. Or does a Greek court believe to have a better understanding of Eurostat's rules than Eurostat itself?

      Obviously, if you think like my very good friend and neighbor thinks, then all these EU rules etc. are for the birds because they are all part of a game for the strong to exploit the weak ones. I obviously cannot change my friend's mind but we are still friends...

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    5. @Anonymous at 4.04 pm

      I have news for you. If you think that Karamanlis and his government did not represent Greece, then you should take a course in "how representative government works". But I would agree with you that both large parties, ND and PASOK, did damage to Greece since 1981 which damage, if Greeks had understood it, would have driven them out of power in no time. Of maybe not because the damage which these two parties did to Greeks was that they gave Greeks money which they didn't have but, instead, borrowed from abroad. And no one really rebels when he is being given money...

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    6. Now you are trying to get across as "smart" and you are failing miserably. Listen to what you say.

      You and others claim that pre-crisis the methodology used hid the Greek debt overuse.

      So now, you install Georgiou at the same time the debt of Greece was measured to be 117% of debt to GDP. Five years later when Georgiou left his post (not because he wanted to but because the term of the assignment expired) the debt to GDP for Greece stood at 180% (way out of any acceptable norms).

      So what exactly your "new statistical approach" accomplished other than to show Brussel's lack of depth in prescribing any corrective action?

      Is that what you mean when you support Georgiou? That his numbers show an exaggerated problem with no solution at hand?

      So what are you going to do about it and why the new ELSTAT is a tool whereas to the rest of us looks like ELSTAT is confirming a wreckage made outside Greece because you can't possibly still blame Greece after 7 years embarking on an exercise in futility?

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    7. This is not news; it sounds more like propaganda lacking taste.

      No one gave the Greeks any money from abroad. If you mean Deutche bank then it did it in the form of consumer and sovereign loans to stay competitive with other banks at the time and in an effort to capture market share. And now we know why DB is mortally wounded and basically a European joke.

      What the Greek political class did was to borrow money to finance its debts. So pre-crisis the Greek debt service was around 25 Bil. euros a year. In next year's budget the same debt service is now around 5 billion euros.

      So Greece was borrowing from international markets as long as her credit rating was sufficient.

      Now instead of international finance markets the EU is funding Greece at far below 1% rates. I would call this an excellent deal however ELSTAT or no ELSTAT the Greek economy is ruined due to criminally delayed and insufficient European reaction.

      So, in what sense do you think the selection of Georgiou made anything better? The underlying problem here is European incompetence in addressing its own structural issues masked by a flawed currency.

      Or do you think that now that we have ELSTAT the euro is strengthening? Because the euro has another 50% drop in the works which most likely would make your savings worth half as much. So what did you exactly accomplish? To impoverish yourself as a eurozone citizen?

      Pray tell us what do you think you are doing because as a detached observer I don't think you have a clue.

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    8. @Anonymous at 9:10 pm
      I may not have a clue about Greece but I know a thing or two about lending and I can assure you that no one is lending when he doesn't trust the borrower and/or its figures. That trust in figures is something which Georgiou gave Greece.

      From 2001-10, Greece's foreign debt increased by 300 BEUR. That is 300 BEUR which were lent to the state and to banks (roughly 50:50) with a small remainder directly to selected borrowers. Add to those 300 BEUR the roughly 50 BEUR which the EU distributed as subsidies.

      Yes, the loans are no gift (the subsidies are). But the loans allowed private Greeks to build up private wealth (remember: expenditures of the state are revenues to privates), much of which wealth is now in foreign accounts.

      Another gift is what you so clearly point out: debt service is now around 5 BEUR, one of the lowest, if not the lowest % of GDP in all of Europe. So if pre-crisis debt service was 25 BEUR with lower debt than now, you describe accurately how much support has been given to Greece (apart from the largest haircut in financial history).

      There may have been delayed EU action but the actions which have been totally and willfully delayed were Greek actions. Some of the points in the first Memorandum of May 2010 are still not implemented!

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    9. @Anonymous at 8:37 pm
      I am not saying at all that pre-crisis methodology hit Greek debt overuse. On the contrary, the level of Greece's foreign debt is one of the few facts which had been known correctly all along because foreign creditors know very well (and report) how much money they have out to a country. In fact, since known debt increases did not match with budget deficits, the suspicion arose.

      Please memorize this formula: indebtedness=debt divided into GDP. That's a percentage. "Debt" is the numerator in this equation and "GDP" is the denominator. If the denominator (GDP) declines, indebtedness increases even though nominal debt may have remained unchanged.

      Greece's debt increased only very, very little in nominal terms since 2010 (if you don't know, let me tell you that most of the money which was lent to Greece went right back to banks and only little stayed in Greece). But when the denominator (GDP) declines by 25%, the indebtedness increases dramatically.

      Incidentally, the largest portion of the nominal debt increase since 2010 went for bank recaps and only a small portion to finance the budget deficit.

      And, yes, the Greek wreckage was made outside Greece since 2010 and not within Greece since 1981. I have heard this argument before.

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    10. I think you deliberately take provocative positions because you perhaps enjoy debate.

      But very little of what you say makes any sense to me.

      Let's take you lender argument as an example. You say you know how a lender thinks and that with the new ELSTAT numbers confidence is restored and now you(as a lender) are ready to lend Greece. But why would Greece take a loan from you or anybody else? Are you lending at zero or negative lending rates?

      So Greece for now has a sweet deal financing itself at below 1% (except the IMF part which is at 4.3% and thus usurious and for that reason it has to go or replaced).

      So most of the political angst in Greece today is whether to accept memorandum supervision or go somewhat independent by accessing market debt(as the naive Greek politicians call it "a return to the markets"). But long term market debt rates for Greece are close to 8% and even if they drop to 4% in two years from now who in the right mind would swap debt at below 1% with new debt at 4%? You have to be crazy to do so and the present state of the Greek economy can't produce new revenue to service such new debt service.

      So my advice to the political class in Greece is to stop this irrelevant talk about accessing( or as cutely referred to as "returning to") the markets in exchange for freedom from memoranda and accept another 10-20 years of supervisory control over Greece because it's painfully obvious that Greek is no longer a sovereign country anyway. So swallow your pride Mr. or Ms. Greece, stop making references to the end of the memorandum period (because there is no end in sight for that) and watch how Brussels will make a mess of things and collapse the eurozone anyway.

      So, pretend to cooperate; don't kill yourself over following uninformed European advice on matters that Europe has no clue about and play the good student. Brexit has already dynamited the eurozone and severe fragmentation would soon follow. There is no incentive for Greece to be part of this new and ominous trouble because other forces will do anyway the job that is most beneficial for Greece.

      By the way, you argument that somehow the lenders have acted beneficially in lowering Greek debt service is very hollow. We all know that the lenders had no other option because everyone knows that such debt is not repayable. So we are not going to engage in appearance and face saving exercises that somehow the debt exists and must be repaid. Because neither of such statements is any longer true.

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    11. If you had been a reader of my blog for a longer time, you would know that I agree with you entirely. Yes, EU financing terms (tenors, rates) are the best Greece will ever get and out of the 5,7 BEUR in interest expense of 2015, only a small portion went to this, by far, largest portion of debt. The largest portion of interest went to the relatively small debt portion of the IMF. And then there was the very expensive remaining debt owed to private creditors, among others the bonds as a result of "returning to the market" in 2014, of which the government was so proud (5-6% interest). So yes, Greece should repay the IMF (and private debt, where possible with EU funding. The only problem is that the EU will probably not go along with this idea...

      And last but not least, the memorandum conditions are part of the game and should be accepted as such. The lenders have to tell their voters that they are being tough with Greece. And Greece has become an expert at pretending to comply but not complying in actual fact. Both sides know that and both sides are happy with it. So, as a Greek friend once told me, "you've got to make sure that Lola gets what Lola wants".

      http://klauskastner.blogspot.gr/2016/02/lagarde-debt-relief-for-greece.html
      http://klauskastner.blogspot.gr/2016/05/considerations-on-debt-relief.html

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    12. If we are then in agreement why focus on Greece?

      Let's talk Italy and the other fragmentation points which are tearing the EU trading zone apart. And how the "union" part is a euphemism that does not correspond with reality.

      Delete
    13. @Anonymous at 2:15
      1. The EU is not a trading zone but a single market
      2. The "Union" in EU does not stand for transfer union even if some would like to read it this way.
      3. This is the Observing Greece blog. That’s why greek and not italian issues are discussed here.

      Delete
  17. Again you commentary portrays lack of understanding of how the judicial system works. Your comments also display acute racism and a bunch African issues which are hard to discern where they come from. I am not part of the Greek intelligencia; I am simply astounded at your lack of knowledge of the the Supreme Court workings.

    Perhaps you ought to read the bio of the Supreme Court's higher representative and address any questions you have about the system's workings directly to her:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassiliki_Thanou-Christophilou

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  18. The country which is completely unfit for membership for the EU, we know it without a shred of a doubt to be Germany and her satellites.

    Greece is beyond reach in matters of European origin and customs.

    Find some other country to ply with. Greece is hands off.

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  19. My sentiment exactly, Germany and her satellite states should create their own union. Greece, and whoever of club med who would want to stay, could then remain the EU. They could then have contests between the members who could give the highest pay rises and whose money printing presses could run the fastest. The problem is that even if the presses ran so fast that their debt was eliminated they would still not be able to feed themselves.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You say money printing but this is precisely what ECB is doing. And it has nothing to do with Greece. It has all to do with this free trade zone called the eurozone. And it is quite obvious that the ECB has reached already the limits of its monetary policy because its extreme QE is not working. But why such has anything to do with Greece? This is all pure European stupidity on a grand scale.

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    2. @Anonymus at 2:12 PM: A few corrections:
      1. The eurozone is a monetary union of many but not all countries that are members of the european union which is among other things a single market not a free trade zone.
      2. QE is not exactly money printing. If the ECB would print money like Simbabwe or Venezuela you would get their inflation rates yet inflation rates are still quite low.
      3. QE is not working? Well, it depends: QE kept asset prices high, lowered the interest burden for everybody especially for the club med countries and helped EZ exports through a cheap Euro. It did not help with growth and de/inflation - of course not.

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    3. The eurozone is NOT a monetary union. It's part of a free trade zone that aspires one day to become a monetary union but is unable to take actions consistent with a true monetary union. For the time being the eurozone is a simple free trade zone using the same currency and engaged in actions as dictated by national self-interests. The world "Union" is a lie; it's more like a trade free zone Dis-union.

      Delete
  20. @Anonymus at 8:59
    Who do you think wants to join a club where Greece is a member? Venezuela?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is Venezuela part of Europe?

      Delete
    2. Is Venezuela part of Europe?
      No, but is the only country with a government that shares Syrizas economic expertise.

      Delete
    3. I didn't know that. So Greece has petroleum to export?

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    4. "I didn't know that. So Greece has petroleum to export?"
      I wrote that the governments of Greece and Venezuela share the same economic views. I never wrote that they have the same resources.
      Oil btw. is no substitute for proper economics and statistics - Venezuela is a very good example to prove this.

      Delete
    5. Your logic resembles the proverbial "Kleingut is from Crete and he is a liar. Therefore all Cretans are liars". You may want to rethink desperately trying to connect unrelated concepts.

      Delete
  21. Sad to see that also this forum like some others has recently been hijacked by the Syriza trolls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah, it's much better when the New Tromokratia is doing the trolling. Much more authentic.

      Delete
    2. You are right, lots and lots of Syriza trolls but read what they are writing: They are obviously at their wits end. All their dreams that Tsipras with the help of the economic genius Varoufakis could bring the Troika down to their knees became nightmares.

      Delete
  22. Kleingut:

    Let's examine some recent trends rather than this stale discussion about Georgiou and or other IMF stooges.

    As I predicted before a major driver for recovery would be in real estate/construction:

    Greek building permits strongly rebounded by 35.4 percent in July, after a drop of 21.7 percent in June, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data showed on Wednesday.

    The headline figure for July is the first positive reading since December 2015.

    The other part which deserves mentioning is tourism. The September figures were outstanding in both revenue and number of visitors and we now know that Greece has been able to extend its tourism period (in terms of airlines and tourist packages my major travel agencies) to November 20th (whereas in the past the tourism season ended roughly at the beginning of October).

    So please present the 2nd half numbers of the Greek economy and not the propagandist first half as you did before since nothing was/is happening per custom with Greek figures.

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  23. Far more serious topic. As you could Greece is not preventing investments rather it's Berlin's intransigence the main problem.

    The European Central Bank (ECB) wants “clarity” in terms of the intricate issue of Greek debt relief, with the Frankfurt-based central bank that manages the single currency linking the issue with growth prospects for the crisis-battered Greek economy and Greek banks’ inclusion in the QE regime.

    The central bank’s views on Greek debt relief were delineated on Wednesday by ECB executive board member Benoit Coeuré, who spoke to members of the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee.

    He estimated that the Greek state will not be able to seek stable access to international markets unless relief is given by creditors.

    Coeuré said it was difficult for Greece to achieve “solid and long-lasting market access without the clarity about the sustainability of Greek debt.”

    He also estimated that the IMF should remain in the Greek program to ensure fair treatment in Greek debt talks.

    “There are serious concerns about the sustainability of Greek public debt … We are looking forward to a solution that can reassure markets, restore confidence in the dynamics of public debt, allow the full involvement of the IMF in the program -- which would enhance the program’s credibility -- and restore market access for Greece ahead of the end of the program in July 2018.”

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  24. That's a good one! So now Troika is unbeatable? Next thing you are going to tell us is that Troika represents the Will of God and also happens to have the Pope's blessing. Not to mention that Troika is recognized as some sort of prophecy in the Quran.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "That's a good one! So now Troika is unbeatable?"
    At least for Tsipras and Varoufakis. That’s quite obvious, don’t you think so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Troika has only beaten its own already bad reputation to worse. Have you ever heard of situations that losing is actually winning? Because I think that's what happened to Tsipras and Troika.

      Delete
  26. What is officially accepted by greek government deficit for 2009?
    Has it been deferred to the judicial system to declare official number for deficit 6 years later?
    Do elstat numbers matter or not?
    If numbers are of no use, why do we care if they have been fabricated?

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  27. Have you heard of the expression garbage in, garbage out?

    Who feeds ELSTAT the data it's using? And why do you think ELSTAT matters in any significant way?

    What's the big deal of what ELSTAT says or does not say?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, in Greece the Supreme Court will declare the official deficit for 2009?
      Or they only announce a verdict whether G fabricated it or not?
      A commentator above wrote:
      " Greek building permits strongly rebounded by 35.4 percent in July, after a drop of 21.7 percent in June, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data showed on Wednesday."
      Are these elstat numbers of any use, or is it garbage-in garbage-out?

      Delete
    2. So the issue here is who supervises G. Because if no one supervises his actions then the wrong person at such unchecked position could produce great damage to everyone involved.

      So the issue gain is what was Georgiou's agenda to begin with?

      Delete
    3. The issue is not if the 15% produced damage, which it did.
      G is tried on whether he fabricated this number.
      Will the Supreme Court declare the official deficit for 2009?
      If not, who is responsible in Greece to declare official deficit?

      Delete
  28. Just for the record:

    Georgiou did include the liabilities of Greece’s publicly owned utilities to make the black hole look bigger.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The inclusion (or not) of publicly owned companies has always been a hot subject between the EU and member countries. Actually, there are clear rules how to treat the subject but, as always, one can debate rules. My country, Austria, did that for several years, thereby keeping about 20 BEUR of debt out of the statistics. There were a lot of back-and-forth's between Vienna and Brussel and, at the end of the day, Brussels got tired of Austrian shenanigans and gave an order. Austria licked its wounds and complied, to very great embarrassment of the country.

      Delete
  29. The allegation we deal with is that Georgiou, a long-time IMF technocrat who was appointed to lead Greece's statistical authority in 2010, altered these numbers in order to present Greece as having a deficit so large that it would have to seek emergency assistance from international actors, and have its economic and other policies come under the tutelage of people like Mr. Georgiou's former colleagues at the IMF. There is no doubt that the size of the deficit as reported by Mr. Georgiou had a significant impact on how Greece's situation was viewed outside the country, including by its creditors; in this case, the prosecution argues that this impact undermined the national interest.

    Before taking a stance that this is a political trial, we must examine such crucial documents as the original complaint, the argument before Greece's Supreme Court, or the Court's judgment sending the case back to the Appeals Council. This blog has not actually recited the exact provisions of the law under which Mr. Georgiou is charged. This is the extent of mere presumption that Greece is manufacturing a political show trial.

    It seems that in our haste to fabricate events we have forgotten the econometrician whistleblower who first brought the accusations against him. To be sure, Zoe Georganta, a professor at the University of Macedonia who was on Mr. Georgiou's staff at the time, doesn't have quite the neoliberal cosmopolitan pedigree of Mr. Georgiou, with his University of Michigan PhD and all those years at the Fund. But she does have a doctorate from Leeds in econometrics, and has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University's department of economics as well as at Harvard and the NBER in the US-twice. One would think that if the FT was giving Mr. Georgiou a chance to argue for his innocence, they might have asked Professor Georganta, his original accuser, her view of the turn that the case has now taken. In 2011, the FT was indeed more careful; the paper interviewed and briefly quoted Professor Georganta, who insisted on the veracity of her claims against Mr. Georgiou. Granted, Professor Georganta may now be a witness in the proceeding, and unavailable to the media; but the lack of all mention of her in the FT's oped gives the unjustified impression that the charges against Mr. Georgiou were merely trumped up political offenses. It should be added that Professor Georganta is no puppet or apologist of Greek politicians: she ends a fascinating 2011 scholarly article "Greek Fiscal and Financial Data: More Than Meets the Eye" by accusing Greece's governments of having "promoted clientism to an extreme form."

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    Replies
    1. Good points. Can you tell us what Prof. Georganta accused Georgiou of doing? Can one read that somewhere?

      Delete
    2. I will do my best. It may take some research because of the way the case has been presented by the media since all substantive evidence has been omitted and rarely mentioned. Perhaps the Athens Bar Association might have such details available. I will keep trying to get.

      Delete
    3. Here is a portion of an older article on Georganda:

      "Zoe Georganta is a professor of applied econometrics and productivity at the University of Macedonia. She also consults with businesses in Greece and abroad. In 2010, the Greek parliament appointed her to the Greek Statistical Authority, the agency that calculates and publishes the numbers of the country on deficit, debt and other vital information.

      In 2010, the Greek Statistical Authority also got its chairman, Andreas Georgiou, an employee of the International Monetary Fund. This incensed Georganta and her colleagues, professional statisticians who, like the rest of the Greeks, have been living the dreadful consequences of their country being under the thumb of IMF and its two European partners — the European Commission and the European Central Bank, collectively going under the name of troika.

      In a Dec. 9, 2012 radio interview, Georganta says Georgiou is pushing the IMF agenda, not the interests of Greece. She alleges a far more serious charge against the former prime minister, George Papandreou. She says that, in 2009, he “artificially augmented” the Greek deficit and, otherwise, indulged in an unprecedented and irresponsible attack against the country he was heading, saying that Greece was corrupt and untrustworthy. This toxic rhetoric did have its intended effect — forcing Greece into the “structural reform” of the troika with the result of Greece losing her sovereignty and being impoverished to conditions of extreme poverty.

      In addition, Georganta alleges that Papandreou’s behavior has had the approval of the EU and the IMF, which now are using Greece to test their anti-labor standards. If this experiment succeeds in Greece and the country is dismembered into “free trade” zones, the troika will then inject its Greek medicine onto Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

      Georganta is not a conspiracy theorist. She is a respected and published scholar. She is straightforward about the foreign influence wrecking Greece under the guise of statistics modernization and debt management by, of all people, European and American allies of Greece.

      Her allegations are being taken seriously. According to a Jan. 20, 2012 report by Athens News, the Greek financial prosecutor, Grigoris Peponis, recommended the Greek government investigate if Papandreou and members of his administration might have tinkered the government’s statistics to “inflate the Greek deficit.”

      As for Papandreou, one day he may be put on trial, though it’s a far-fetched possibility now that he is in the comfortable environment of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

      Georganta recognizes the weaknesses of the Greek economy — practically no industry, limited exports, tax evasion by those who have the most money, and over-reliance on tourism. Second, she lashes at the troika for “creative accounting,” arbitrariness and lack of transparency."

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    4. Here is a bit more data on the Georganda position:

      "A former Elstat board member, Zoe Georganta, accused Mr. Georgiou in 2011 of overstating the deficit under pressure from German-led creditors to justify the austerity plan. A public prosecutor filed felony charges against Mr. Georgiou and two other Elstat officials for falsifying data and breach of duty. The charges carry prison terms of five to 10 years. The on-again, off-again probe appeared to stall last summer.

      Mr. Georgiou has vigorously denied the allegations, saying he simply applied EU accounting standards, a stance backed by Eurostat.

      In an interview, Ms. Georganta said Mr. Georgiou “had no idea of statistics; he was just doing whatever Eurostat…told him to.”

      “It is high time that the case goes to court,” she said: “This way the whole of Europe will find out about Eurostat’s maneuvers to get rid of Greece…This was part of a plan against Greece.”

      Ms. Georganta said Greece’s true deficit in 2009 was a mere 4% of GDP, according to her calculations."

      Delete
    5. If her case is to succeed, she needs to come up with more specific beef than above. Just think about this paragraph:

      "In 2010, the Greek Statistical Authority also got its chairman, Andreas Georgiou, an employee of the International Monetary Fund. This incensed Georganta and her colleagues, professional statisticians who, like the rest of the Greeks, have been living the dreadful consequences of their country being under the thumb of IMF and its two European partners — the European Commission and the European Central Bank, collectively going under the name of troika."

      In a private company, one would immediately conclude that here is someone who has an axe to grind because he/she was overlooked for a job. If Georganta thinks (or thought then) that Greeks were living the dreadful consequences of their country living under the thumbs of the IMF, the EC and the ECB, then she got things dreadfully wrong. Greeks are (and have been since 2010) living under the dreadful consequences of 30 years of total and reckless mismanagement.

      Toxic rhetoric? Well, I remember that Greece's PM at the time, George Papandreou, told the world that all Greeks were tax cheaters and corrupt. And he said that before Georgiou ever appeared on the scene.

      And then to think that the awesome artificial augmentation of the deficit from 13,6% to 15,4% (after it had previously been augmented from 6% to 13,6%) caused the tough austerity is is laughable. The austerity was a direct function of the EU's intent to put as little fresh money into Greece as possible. Less fresh money, more austerity and vice versa.

      I have argued in this blog that Greece could have gotten a far better deal than it got back in 2010. It didn't NOT get it because Georgiou augmented the 2009 deficit from 13,6% to 15,4%. Instead, it didn't because George Papandreou was a terrible negotiator. And to make it worse, a terrible negotiator who wouldn't even listen to advice from people who could have helped him get a better deal.

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    6. You could be right about your observations and allegations. What I am trying to say is that there is a lot more than meets the eye. And Georganda whose own figures put the Greek deficit at 4% at the time might be a figure more connected to Panos Kammenos (aka the Greek UKIP) rather than Syriza. Syriza might have its own reservations about Georgiou but this case has its roots more on the Greek Right rather than the Greek Left. In other words the case against Georgiou is brought by Greek conservatives rather than socialists or leftists.

      Delete
    7. @Anonymous at 1:04
      From Georgiou's resume I would agree that he probably was no expert on statistics when he took on the job. Doesn't have to be in that kind of a job as long as he can surround himself with experts. I could also see Georgiou being very cooperative with the IMF, the EC and the ECB because, after all, they approved of him in that job and wanted him to get the job done. Who determines the job description? Well, not the Greek government, not the Greek parliament and not the Greek Supreme Court. That job description is determined by Eurostat. Full stop.

      Interesting that Georganta would see the 2009 deficit as a mere 4% of GDP (or roughly 8 BEUR). How, then, would she explain that public debt increased by 34 BEUR during 2009? If the deficit was only 8 BEUR, why would Greece borrow 34 BEUR?

      Delete
    8. We don't know yet whether Georgiou, Logothetis and the other accusers were/are on the right or not. We hope that the conclusion of this case would reveal what actually happened.

      But there are several things disturbing about this case. Georganda while a still active Elstat member accused Georgiou openly of malpractice. Under normal circumstances when you bring false chargers against your boss you are fired. She did not get fired. Another member of the board Logothetis accused Georgiou of several procedural irregularities plus a clear charge that Georgiou had an agenda way beyond statistical norms. Also he (logothetis)does not get fired but ends up resigning much latter.

      All of this paints a picture to me that Georgiou had some sort of arbitrary presence within Elstat, avoided collaboration with other members and pursued a predetermined outcome according to his accusers.

      So there is enough smoke here to suspect an actual fire. We therefore all hope that the court proceedings would reveal what actually happened and that we can not prejudge the outcome before such outcome is rendered.

      I also suspect that Georgiou was not as good at its job as the mythology asserts because now no one wants to touch Georgiou for a new job or a new assignment. Most likely even the IMF today considers Georgiou toxic and the best explanation for such is that indeed Georgiou had a hidden agenda, probably guilty of what he is accused of and now his patrons want to bury the whole thing and avoid a public trial leading to embarrassing revelations. Which to me is the best reason why we ought to have a trial about Georgiou's actions and his external guidance because apparently there is a raw and sore spot given the reactions to the contrary. In other words we have a smoking gun here and obviously the prosecutors are under no obligation to reveal their strategy before the end of the trial. But they have every reason to pursue Georgiou until the whole truth is revealed.

      Delete
    9. Hi from Zurich,
      I found this article on this issue:

      http://www.ekathimerini.com/148007/article/ekathimerini/comment/an-issue-of-statistical-significance-in-greece

      Urs

      Delete
    10. Thank you very much for posting this article. I had read it at the time but could not remember it. Now there will be those who will discredit the authors. That's not going to work with me because I have extremely high regard for both, Nick Malkoutzis and Yiannis Mouzakis (see the blog Macropolis).

      The article presents the sort of "beef" I was looking for. If there is more beef to support the other side, we will hopefully get to know it during the trial.

      I am getting the impression that Georgiou was an economist working in a peaceful IMF-environment, suddenly finding himself in a shark-invested Greek drama with lots of intrigues and power-plays. He must have quickly noticed that he was not prepared for dealing with that kind of a situation and when managers get that feeling, they tend to withdraw and reduce their contacts to only those who still support them. I guess Georgiou must have realized rather soon that he had gotten into the wrong job for him.

      Delete
    11. This is some soft political advice. If you want to promote a position or a thesis try to stay away from Kathimerini.

      Kathimerini is now firmly established as the front PR office of New Tromokratia and it fabricates positions non stop.

      To simply accept a article from Kathimerini on Greek statistics when it was New Tromokratia (or ND)that fabricated any numbers it's very irresponsible. It's like seeking advice from Moscrow regarding the justification for the Soviet Union.

      Mouzakis is a bit of an emotional type easily excitable and Malkoutzis is only answerable to himself and totally a loose screw out there.

      Malkoutzis does not even understand finance, accounting or statistics. There is only one person Yiakoumis (he must be a Cypriot) that writes in Agora with some deep understanding of what he is talking about.

      Delete
    12. "Now there will be those who will discredit the authors. That's not going to work with me because I have extremely high regard for both, Nick Malkoutzis and Yiannis Mouzakis (see the blog Macropolis)."

      Delete
    13. And it's going to work with me either because I have very low opinion of Malkoutzis. Hardly no one follows his blog. It's like he is talking to himself plus he is eager to censor others which is a clear sign of an inferiority complex. Malkooutzis for me is the sort of despotic journalism that needs to be avoided at all costs unless you have fascist propensities and you love the church with is sort of the Golden Dawn crowd.

      Delete
    14. Since we are keeping records here, but obviously mostly for the wrong and insignificant things, here is a statistic which is very relevant.

      Greece ended the 9-month period for 2016 ending in September with a 5.4 Billion euro primary surplus:

      http://news.in.gr/economy/article/?aid=1500108143

      And the significance of this piece of statistic is that if Greece has good tourism numbers for October and November (as it should) then Greece is very close to balancing its budget because as we know the debt service is about 5.6 Billion euros for 2017.

      So despite the criticism, amateur Syriza seems to firing on all cylinders.

      Write this down in your dirty little notebook of Greece's deliberate defamation.

      Delete
  30. Here is another piece of the puzzle by former VP of ELSTAT Nikos Logothetis:

    "
    Greece’s deficit figures for 2009 and 2010 were deliberately and artificially inflated, and this was at least partly responsible for the imposition of bailouts and austerity programs on the country, a former vice president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Nikos Logothetis, said.

    Testifying before a Parliamentary Investigation Committee on examining and clarifying the conditions under which Greece entered its bailout programs and the accompanying Memorandums, Logothetis called ELSTAT president Andreas Georgiou a “Eurostat pawn” that had converted the statistics service into a “one-man show.” He also accused Georgiou of bending the rules and “using tricks” to bump up the deficit’s size.

    “A lot of the criteria were violated in order to include public utilities in the deficits. The deficit was enlarged even more by the one-sided fiscal logic of ELSTAT president Andreas Georgiou. It should not have been above 10%. The ‘alchemy’ that was carried out demolished our credibility, drove spreads sky high and we were unable to borrow from the markets. The enlargement of the deficits legitimized the first Memorandum and justified the second for the implementation of odious measures,” Logothetis said.

    Noting that this was the third time he was testifying, Logothetis pointed out that Georgiou’s practices had been questioned by himself and other ELSTAT board members (most prominently by Zoe Georganta) but Georgiou had chosen to silence them so that the deficit figure was released only with his own approval and that of Eurostat.

    Logothetis claimed that Georgiou had avoided meeting with ELSTAT’s board, even after Logothetis resigned, because the board’s majority would have questioned his actions. He also insisted that “centers” outside of Greece had played a role and needed someone on the “inside,” while he suggested that “someone wanted to bring the IMF into Europe.”

    The former ELSTAT official said he was led to this conclusion by “seeing spreads rise as a result of the statistical figures until we reached a real enlargement of the deficits, violating the until-then not violated Eurostat criteria.”"


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-18/was-greece-set-fail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha, Logothetis thinks the 2009 deficit should not have been above 10%. Georganta thinks it was only 4%. However, the new borrowing during 2009 represented about 15% of GDP.

      Anyone who claims that a deficit was artificially augmented should be kind enough to answer the following 2 questions:

      (1) which revenues should have been shown but were not shown?
      (2) which expenses were shown but should not have been shown?

      Delete
    2. So these are newspaper articles, right? Not actual court depositions. So if Georganda thinks the actual deficit was 4% I am very interested to see her justification in numbers. The same w/ Logothetis who claims that the deficit could have been brought quickly under 10% with easy corrective action.

      So that is why it would be best to have a trial. So that we can all see the evidence and also showcase how a functioning legal system works.

      So this a great opportunity for all Greeks to witness their judicial system at work.

      If I were the prime minister of Greece I would have made the whole trial televised so that all citizens get a sense of how the law works and also mentally participate in this important process. That way the people become stakeholders as opposed to professional complainers.

      Delete
  31. Let’s assume that Mr. Georgiou gets acquitted. Would this in turn mean that Prof. Georganta and Mr. Logothetis will face prosecution for false accusation or slander?

    Urs

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    Replies
    1. But if this is remotely true aside from being very much hypothetical why Georgiou does not file action against those two before his Supreme court case is heard? Wouldn't it be great for Georgiou to win in his own and separate action against his accusers and then waive the decision in front of the top judge?

      Therefore one has to conclude that Georgiou does not think he could win the argument against his accusers and that his only core argument is total immunity. In other words that he undertook a tough job in exchange of what he thought as implied immunity. Which if you want to take to the next logical step means that if he thought he had immunity then for sure he wronged a few people and for sure he acted as unaccountable.

      Delete
    2. This is a topic in which I want to see further analysis from this blog:

      http://www.euro2day.gr/news/economy/article/1457621/protogenes-pleonasma-mamoyth-sto-9mhno.html

      Delete
    3. @Anonymous at 12:40
      Your answer is more than funny - it is revealing alas not in the sense you might think.
      1. You toally ignore that Mr. Georghiou had been acquitted once in the past and as far as I know not because of immunity but because the allegations against him were unfounded.
      2. Why on earth should he take action? Is false accusation not a criminal offence in Greece? And if so, shouldn’t it be the job of a prosecutor to take action?
      3. Most revealing is how you jump from unfounded suppositions to unfounded conclusions.

      Urs

      Delete
    4. Urs:

      Perhaps people in Zurich live in some sort of lake fog and as a result lack situational awareness. Your arguments portray a person who hardly understands what's going on.

      You don't have to be a legal expert to understand that Georgiou is now facing serious criminal charges and any prior actions of the lower courts are now nullified. So we are starting from scratch and the word "acquittal" in this case means absolutely nothing because the charges prior dropped were of a different nature than the present charges. You may not exactly understand how law works but that's fine because we are willing to teach you.

      And when we say that you lack situational awareness we mean that you don't seem to understand that Georgiou is closer to a fugitive status at the moment. He lives outside Greece, in the US, he is penniless, has no real legal defense other than the pro bono charity of friends and most probably will be tried in absentia and then the Greek state will have to issue a warrant for his arrest and ask his extradition from the United States based on the existing treaties between Greece and the US.

      Therefore, Georgiou looks and acts as guilty as hell. The charges against him are not false, otherwise he would have vigorously defended himself by suing his accusers in a counter lawsuit (even ask his pro bono friends to do it for him); he has put enough distance between him and the Greek judiciary and he is already crying the victim seeking the protection of his ex masters which so far is ineffective and based on blanket statements which carry to legal weight. All in all, Georgiou is a coward and his present actions portray guilt without a doubt.

      So, please calm down in Zurich because we will have a trial and the prosecutors will most likely find him guilty because his actions to date indicate extreme guilt. So, have some faith in the law because the law is both patient and relentless.

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous at 5:04 PM
      Just a few remarks:
      - Your piece made me laugh - so at least it did something good.
      - Yes, people in Zurich are known for living in a fog quite contrary to those living in enlightended Hellas.
      - When you say "We" do you mean it took more than one person to write your post? Really?
      - Mr. Georghiou looks "as guilty as hell" because he is penniless and preferes to live in the US? Hm, doesn’t take much to look guilty in Greece. I guess I better don’t go there.
      - Could you please be more specific regarding Mr. Georgious crimes? He is accused of manipulating the debt to GDP ratio for 2009 or 2010. So please give us the numbers you deem correct so we can discuss this issue.
      - You ask for my faith in law (in Greece) because "the law is both patient and relentless". It would help if you could tell me when the predecessors of Mr. Georgiou - you know those who are said to have cooked the books for decades - will stand trial.
      - I sincerely hope that your mindset is not representative for that of the common Greek or that of any person involved in the trial against Mr. Georghiou.

      Urs

      Delete
    6. Given Name URS. USAGE: German. PRONOUNCED: UWRS [key] German form of the Latin name Ursus, which meant "bear"

      So an uber biased German person occupying part of Lake Zurich for Greater Germany pretending to want to have a conversation.

      That's nice Urs. You make me want to growl as a bear in response: Grr, Grr, Grr.

      Delete
    7. At Anonymous at 2:26
      Quote: "So an uber biased German person occupying part of Lake Zurich for Greater Germany pretending to want to have a conversation."

      OMG are you really so behind the moon or are you a Joe job (go google it) and want to paint the Greeks as utter fools? Urs is a name you hardly find in other countries than Switzerland. If you find a guy named Urs in Germany he is most probably of swiss descent. And just in case you don’t know: Zurich is a german speaking town - well sort of because our dialect sounds for most germans greek.

      Delete
  32. The Greek supreme court has ordered a trial be opened after a public prosecutor proposed criminal charges last week against Andreas Georgiou, the former head of Greece’s statistics agency Elstat, on grounds that he inflated the country’s budget deficit.

    Criminal charges were brought against Georgiou in 2013 after Elstat employees accused him and other officials from the statistics agency of artificially inflating Greek budget figures when the country requested a bailout in 2009.

    The latest motion by deputy supreme court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou called for him to also face criminal charges.

    The supreme court will decide whether to accept her proposal.

    Greek government sources agreed with the Commission’s statement regarding the need for Elstat’s “full legal independence” but noted that this does not mean “they can act out of the rule of law”.

    Nikos Pappas, Greece’s minister of state, told Greek media that the investigation is “a wound opened that needs to explored in depth”.

    Pappas added that the country needs to examine how and whether deficits were inflated in order to make “pre-planned” political decisions and lead Greece to a memorandum of understanding.

    The newspaper Real News quoted former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis (New Democracy) as saying that the prosecutor’s charge “finally opens the way to deal with the case. Let there be light.”

    Karamanlis served as Greek premier from 2004 to 2009 and allegedly believes that fiscal numbers were not “so bad” to merit receiving external financial aid.

    Giorgos Papandreou, the former chief of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), succeeded Karamanlis and asked for international aid to avoid Greece’s bankruptcy. Papandreou also blamed Karamanlis for hiding a huge deficit.

    In a statement after the court’s decision, Papandreou stressed that Greece’s statistics had been systematically manipulated until September 2009 by Karamanlis’ government, resulting in the 2010 debt crisis.

    “This happened long before the establishment of an independent Elstat,” Papandreou noted.

    But for Karamanlis’ camp, the supreme court’s decision is “vindication” for the centre-right government that was in power until 2009.

    The court’s ruling also caused turmoil within the main opposition party New Democracy.

    New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis unexpectedly did not issue an official statement, triggering reactions from several centre-right lawmakers.

    “Strategically speaking, it was wrong not to issue an official statement”, New Democracy MP Nikitas Kaklamanis stressed, adding that the party had asked in February 2010 for an inquiry committee to investigate what happened between 2000 and 2010.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This erase one of the two duplicate postings. There is the same below.

      Delete
  33. The Greek supreme court has ordered a trial be opened after a public prosecutor proposed criminal charges against Andreas Georgiou, the former head of Greece’s statistics agency Elstat, on grounds that he inflated the country’s budget deficit.

    Criminal charges were brought against Georgiou in 2013 after Elstat employees accused him and other officials from the statistics agency of artificially inflating Greek budget figures when the country requested a bailout in 2009.

    The latest motion by deputy supreme court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou called for him to also face criminal charges.

    The supreme court will decide whether to accept her proposal.

    Greek government sources agreed with the Commission’s statement regarding the need for Elstat’s “full legal independence” but noted that this does not mean “they can act out of the rule of law”.

    Nikos Pappas, Greece’s minister of state, told Greek media that the investigation is “a wound opened that needs to explored in depth”.

    Pappas added that the country needs to examine how and whether deficits were inflated in order to make “pre-planned” political decisions and lead Greece to a memorandum of understanding.

    The newspaper Real News quoted former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis (New Democracy) as saying that the prosecutor’s charge “finally opens the way to deal with the case. Let there be light.”

    Karamanlis served as Greek premier from 2004 to 2009 and allegedly believes that fiscal numbers were not “so bad” to merit receiving external financial aid.

    Giorgos Papandreou, the former chief of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), succeeded Karamanlis and asked for international aid to avoid Greece’s bankruptcy. Papandreou also blamed Karamanlis for hiding a huge deficit.

    In a statement after the court’s decision, Papandreou stressed that Greece’s statistics had been systematically manipulated until September 2009 by Karamanlis’ government, resulting in the 2010 debt crisis.

    “This happened long before the establishment of an independent Elstat,” Papandreou noted.

    But for Karamanlis’ camp, the supreme court’s decision is “vindication” for the centre-right government that was in power until 2009.

    The court’s ruling also caused turmoil within the main opposition party New Democracy.

    New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis unexpectedly did not issue an official statement, triggering reactions from several centre-right lawmakers.

    “Strategically speaking, it was wrong not to issue an official statement”, New Democracy MP Nikitas Kaklamanis stressed, adding that the party had asked in February 2010 for an inquiry committee to investigate what happened between 2000 and 2010.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the article. It becomes obvious that the accusations are a farce and a political game when the people who cooked the books for years are now saying: Let there be light.

      Urs

      Delete
    2. In case you missed the message let me translate it for you and in the process facilitate the lifting the heavy fog around Zurich.

      The people who say "let it be light" are the same people who are behind the prosecution of Georgiou. In fact they are the same people from the same party of Mitsotakis who are now you are praising as a better prospect than the present government.

      In other words, you and your sympathizers are in a total state of confusion as to how the political forces of Greece work and how deep exactly are the vested interests (primarily of ND and Pasok) which want to continue to exert control when in fact there is no longer a reason or desire by the Greek people for them to do so.

      Make sure you carry a whistle around your neck along with your Swiss Army knife in case you are lost in the thick vegetation part of the Zurich Lake and unfortunately we would have to rescue you at such point.

      Delete
    3. @ Anonymous 2:19pm

      You are mistaken. The concern on Georgiou handling is precisely because he is the scapegoat from all political parties from ND to Syriza.
      Afaik, only Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Filippos Sachinidis spoke for him.

      I have not read any article in the foreign press whih makes sense of the accusation. So if this ends with a condemnation, Greek justice will have to work double time to make this judgement credible.
      In particular, if they don't win over Eurostat to their conclusion, foreign opinion will not buy-in the judgement

      Delete
    4. You live in a total fantasy world Jerome.

      Greek justice does even have to lift a finger because the decisions of the supreme court are binding and final.

      Court cases are not decided by whatever press you and others like you read. Court cases are decided by evidence. And if the evidence is against Georgiou then he will be convicted. You better get used to such simple fact.

      Otherwise it sounds like you attempting to influence the outcome something which even if you wished it it's impossible by the very nature of the public prosecutor's action. Law is not an a la carte thingy.

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous at 5:22
      "Court cases are not decided by whatever press you and others like you read. Court cases are decided by evidence."
      Or by money or political pressure.
      "Law is not an a la carte thingy"
      Surely not in Greece. The whole world knows this.
      Urs

      Delete
    6. @Anonymous at 2:19
      You can not even quote correctly, so let me show you how it is done:
      Quote: "The newspaper Real News quoted former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis (New Democracy) as saying that the prosecutor’s charge “finally opens the way to deal with the case. Let there be light.”"
      So, again, the former prime minister under whose government year after year manipulated statistics were delivered to EUSTAT has the nerve to say with regard to the trial of Georgiou: Let there be light.

      Urs

      Delete
  34. Zoe Georgantos is a true patriotic Greek and has now found her real calling. She is in charge of the Ministry of Defense accounting and has inspired her boss (Flaming Kammenos) to the following statement: "And once it is proved that the statistics were falsified Greece will have no debt at all". A statement we can all agree with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is obvious that at least those two are living in their own phantasy world. Let’s hope they stay there alone.

      Urs

      Delete
    2. Dear occupant of part of Zurich lake:

      Fantasy has nothing to do with pharmacy. They are both Greek words used for different purposes. Therefore the newly invented word of "phantasy" we are sort of unable to comprehend its meaning.

      Signed,

      Arktos.

      Delete
    3. @Arktos
      - I do not occupy a part of Lake Zurich (mind the word order) but a humble house on the shores of Lake Zurich
      - I thought it would be appropriate to use an archaic (you know the word) form of spelling. Look here if you don’t want to take my word for it:

      http://www.dict.cc/englisch-deutsch/phantasy.html

      Nice try.

      Urs

      Delete
    4. Humble homeowner of a tiny part of Zurich lake:

      In such case I hope phucking Georgiou gets his phucking day in court.

      Arktos (archaic form of bear or Urs in Greek)

      Delete
    5. @Arktos
      Lets hope he will meet unbiased and competent judges there.
      Do you know when he will have his day in court (date)?
      Urs

      Delete
    6. Urs:

      I don't know what the trial date is.

      Arktos.

      Delete
    7. @Arktos:
      I can’t find it on the net. But I guess the press will cover it when it happens.

      Urs

      Delete
  35. I am shocked how so many people support the notion that someone leaving his 20 year successful IMF career to return to Greece wanted to inflate the debt numbers. We all know that the Greek governments mismanaged the economy and piss off money to keep people happy to vote them to power. Andreas Papandreou and partly Simitis have done this with EU funds. Simitis and Karamanlis have done this with credit. There is no way you can fix a problem unless you recognise it. I think the way the George Papandreou government handled this issue was not ideal. They went to the EU and said 'we are screwed' and had no proposal/plan in place how to fix it. Add to this the fact that EU was not prepared to deal with a broken economy of one of it's members and multi country politics impacting the situation and they created a big mess. We all recognise that the situation in Greece is problematic and needs to be fixed. A lot have been done but I do not think that we are more than 20% of the way to fixing this. In the meantime, a number of politicians in Greece are indirectly screwing the country for their own benefit. The Greeks cannot digest the fact that there is no easy way out of this. People cannot accept the fact that life could not go on with getting money from the government and not paying taxes. Populists find an easy prey when promising to people an easy way out. Accusing the person who put all the numbers on paper and tried to impose discipline in the financials of the country would be similar to someone who lied to the banks, obtain tons of credit and piled up debt. Now the banks are asking for an audit of this person in order to figure out the actual situation and come up with a payment plan that will let him survive and pay back his loans. Instead, this person cries and accuses the auditor who have added all the debt and exposed him. The country needs to mature, the media need to mature and play their role in fighting corruption and exposing populist politicians lying to people. Voters need to mature and realise that the only way out of this is to get our act together (see Cyprus). The politicians need to mature and start fixing the taxation system, the judicial system, the management of the government budget but that requires hard work and judgement of the results rather than accepting retirement benefits at 50 years old, getting your kid a job in the government to do absolutely nothing and expecting someone else to pay for this. The smart ones didn't even go to work and managed to get a government salary while running their business. The Georgiou's are not the problem, the politicians who are giving away money for votes are and the people who support this system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks to me that you are the problem.

      Delete
  36. A job opportunity for Georgiou at the Finance Ministry, perhaps?

    http://www.ekathimerini.com/213163/article/ekathimerini/business/commission-report-reveals-extra-22-billion-euros-in-state-arrears

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read that, it made me wonder whether the mistake was first started by this government or if the previous ones were also reporting the figures wrongly.
      And also if ELSTAT is making the same mistake in its reports.

      Delete
  37. The 2,2 billion EUR is just one such case out of several. ELSTAT is clean as long as EUROSTAT keep their eyes on it, what they cannot check is the underlying figures ELSTAT base their reporting on. The government(s) resort to quoting selected "statistics" from more or less official sources, all proving that everything is OK in Greece. The most important presently is the "heavy industry", the tourism. There are lots of conflicting reports and it will take awhile before we know how bad it is. One thing is sure, tourist numbers goes up, but not fast enough to compensate for the dropping number of days and spending per day. This i a long term trend but has been drowning in the Greek cries of success, spending per day has gone down for years, 2014 at EUR 609, 2015 at EUR 578 and 2016 until now at EUR 542. This is not sustainable in a country where the market is saturated if the season and/or area are not expanded. As usual in Greece it is impossible to tell how much of it is caused by tax evasion. The few people who admit that there is something wrong come up with the usual Greek solution, subsidies. The head of the tourist organization (SETE) recommend lower taxes on tourism. The governor of the Central Bank does it one better, he advocate more competition between airlines and cheaper flights, that is about as stupid as you get it. When flight passengers go up and spending down they should lower the flight prices? Nobody dares to say that it is the Greek product that has a low value, Greece is cheap, not inexpensive.
    Nobody dares to ask why spending per day in Cyprus was EUR 958 (2014). And Greece, as usual, goes on denying and lying, the truth is just too painful?
    Lennard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Lennard:

      The numbers you quote are not for spending per day but for spending per trip.
      Urs

      Delete
  38. @ Urs.
    Yes, sorry, point taken. Arrivals are never the less a poor metric for income. As I mentioned, we don't know yet how bad it's going to be but my gut feeling is bad. This years Athens arrivals were boosted by cruise ships, with short notice, changing their home port to Athens from Turkish and Egyptian ports. Alas, for the same reason next seasons cruises have been planned without the eastern Mediterranean. Greece, alone, is not enough to fill out the itinerary of a cruise.
    That does not prevent the lovely tourist minister from declaring this year a success story, she does not know (ignore?) what she has coming.
    Lennard

    ReplyDelete