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Parliamentary questions
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27 February 2018
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-006717/2017

All judicial proceedings mentioned by the Honourable Members are currently either subject to appeal or pending before Greek courts of various instances. The Commission neither comments on developments in ongoing judicial proceedings nor assesses the impact of court decisions that are not final and irrevocable.

That said, the Commission has followed these developments with concern. The Commission would like to reiterate strongly, as it has done repeatedly in public statements since 2016(1) its full confidence in the reliability and accuracy of ELSTAT data during 2010-2015 and since.

The independence of statistical offices in all EU Member States is a key pillar of the proper functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union. This is why it is protected under EC law. Under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme the Greek authorities adopted legislation to further enhance ELSTAT's institutional, operational and financial independence according to the rules set down by the European Statistical System(2). Legislation passed by the Greek Parliament on 28 July 2017 seeks to indemnify current or former ELSTAT officials for legal expenses incurred as part of lawsuits against them related to the performance of their functions.

With respect to the impact of this judicial decision, as well as the reopening of the case this is looked at carefully by Member States in the context of the Eurogroup. For the Commission is it essential that the independence of ELSTAT is protected in line with the law and that people who conduct their duties in line with their responsibilities and job-requirements are protected in line with the law.

(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/economy-finance/ip064_en.pdf, p.147

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