EC Backs Former Greek Statistics Chief as ELSTAT Scandal Heads to Eurogroup


EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici met with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Brussels on Monday. In their first meeting since July, the two officials did not discuss the prosecution of former Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) Chief Andreas Georgiou by Greek authorities, though government sources say that it may be raised at the EuroWorking Group (EWG) meeting on Monday evening.

European Commission Spokesman Margaritis Schinas confirmed on Monday that Georgiou has Moscovici’s full support, adding that the letter addressed to Tsakalotos that had been signed by three commissioners (Moscovici, Euro/Social Dialogue Commissioner Valdis Dobrovskis and Employment/Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen) was clear. He confirmed that Tsakalotos’ response to the letter had also been received and the matter is likely to be brought to the Eurogroup meeting in September.

In reference to the letter, Schinas also stressed that the European Commission underlines the need for reforms to be carried out concerning the modernization of the Greek state, including the freedom of Greek administration from politics. He said that the European Commission does not usually intrude in national legal matters but is concerned about mass media reports that undermine the credibility of the Greek statistics agency.