FAZ: Former ELSTAT chief a scapegoat

20 August 2016
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The trial of the former head of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Andreas Georgiou, is nothing but a political trial aiming to create a scapegoat, according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Friday.

“Athens need a guilty party for the crisis of recent years and now a prosecutor is initiating procedures against Andreas Georgiou,” the paper said, describing him as a “tragic figure” of the unfolding Greek drama.

It added that Greece is heading for a political trial, regarding the publication in 2009 of “catastrophic” fiscal data. This, it said, will leave the country’s international creditors without a reliable statistical platform to evaluate the Greek economy.

FAZ also took a snipe at the “populist government” of Alexis Tsipras for what it claimed is its unconcealed effort to take control of the country’s key posts of power, including the judiciary.

The Supreme Court recently decided that Georgiou should face felony charges for allegedly tampering with Greece’s 2009 deficit figure to justify a bailout by the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.

Speaking to the Financial Times earlier in the week, Georgiou, who resigned as head of ELSTAT last year, suggested that he is being unfairly persecuted.

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