Professor at the University of Macedonia and former committee member of the Hellenic Statistical Service (ELSTAT) Zoe Georganta, who outwardly accused former Economy and Finance minister George Papakonstantinou of purposely “falsifying” Greece’s deficit in 2009, was on George Trangas’ show last night. Veteran reporter George Trangas who also publishes the popular “Crash” Magazine and can be heard daily on Niko Chatzinikolaoy’s RealFM, hosts a talk show Monday through Thursday on EXTRA channel (can be viewed via the web ) at 21:30-22:30.
Georganta told Trangas that the revision that was made on the deficit specifically included expenditures from public utility companies and general government spending, and she stressed that some of those public utilities companies are now included in the personnel redundancy programme applied via the labour reserve measure. She noted that this method is in total CONFLICT with the Eurostat practices considering that studies and statistical calculations that are deemed as imperative and should have taken place in advance were never held in the controversial wider public sector companies.
In previous interviews Georganta had said that the Greek deficit for 2009 was deliberately estimated at 15.4% from Eurostat (with the help of Papakonstantinou) because they wanted it to be larger than that of Ireland’s debt which was estimated at 14%. “The deficit was artificially inflated in 2009 to show that the country had the largest across Europe, including that of Ireland which was 14% in order to justify the severe measures the government wanted to impose on the country. And (that is why) Eurostat presented it at 15,4%“. (Read that story here)
She said something else that was interesting in yesterday’s interview as well. She said that all of the board members of the former committee do not know how the deficit from 6.9, went to 12 and then to 15.4% because they were not allowed to survey the data and thus give their professional opinions.
She also revealed that she holds a close relationship with George Papandreou’s brother Andreas (who has been accused by Panos Kammenos for being involved in the CDS scandal –click here for that story).
Georganta said that after the current Chairman of ELSTAT, Mr. Georgiou, concluded with these numbers, she and the other former members of ELSTAT expressed their concern immediately because they could not understand how he had arrived to this conclusion. He was reluctant to reveal his “methodology” said Georganta and she said this is what prompted her and the other members to set about briefing the relevant committees about their objections on the final numbers that were presented by Eurostat. She said all her seniors (including high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Economy) totally ignored their concerns over this matter and so she contacted the Prime Minister’s brother and decided to inform him about it.
She said that Papakonstantinou held a series of meetings with her and the other board members, but insisted on the numbers even though all the board members insisted that their role in the committee was not of a ‘virtual” nature, but they were there to actually survey the data. (Basically, the committee had no say in the tallying up of the deficit, only Georgiou did, and we need not reiterate that Georgiou until several months ago worked for the IMF).
She said that because she held close ties with the Papandreou family, she believed that by informing Andreas something would finally be done about it. According to her, Andreas visited the office of Papakostainou and the former Minister of Economy more or less told him to stay out of it and “booted” him out of his office……
She said that she has been slammed for not speaking up about this very (very) serious scandal but she underlined that she had informed her superiors at the Ministry of Economy and other Statistics professionals about it, and there were many people aware of this issue before the scandal broke out.
She said that it was so widely known that the German newspaper Bild had approached her about this very subject and she informed them that the committee never received (and/or viewed) the data that supported the final deficit numbers (later presented as the official sum by Eurostat). Georganta also mentioned that when the German newspaper approached her they had also similarly approached Mr. Stournaras (Chairman and CEO of the Commercial Bank of Greece). The Professor went as far as saying that the “Eleftherotypia” newspaper had re-published the article on Bild… so the issue was well known. But as we have said time and time again here on hellasfrappe obviously the mainstream media (which is totally pro-government) totally ignored the subject.
Finally she also said that “Andrikos” (or Andreas – the Prime Minister’s brother) warned her to be careful because she was being “monitored”.