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Debates
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

24. Independence of statistical authorities in the European Union and the case of Andreas Georgiou (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE ). – Mr President, Mr Georgiou is in exile in the US for telling the truth. He communicated the correct numbers of the Greek economy at that time and the Greek public deficit figures. He shed the light on the biggest lies that led the Greek state and the EU into one of the most severe financial crises since the end of the Second World War.

Even The Economist , two years ago, denounced the prosecution of Mr Georgiou as a violation of scientific freedom and human rights. Last October, the Financial Times reported that Mr Georgiou received an award for statistical integrity given by the world’s leading statistical societies.

Lastly, the think-tank Bruegel said last June: ‘the European Union must defend Andreas Georgiou. The European Union also needs to reform its statistical framework to ensure a similar scandal cannot happen again.’

What is at stake is the credibility of our European Union above the credibility of the Greek authorities. This is a very dangerous precedent. It is crucial that the statistical basis for our economic decision-making remains reliable and independent from political interference. What is at stake is the reliability and independence of the statistics office and authorities all across Europe.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
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