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Ex-PM Simitis to Sarkozy: “Greece Has Not Cheated!” To Enter The Euro Zone

Former Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis wrote an article to French newspaper Le Monde, directly answering Nicholas Sarkozy claims that  “Greece falsified statistical data in order to join the Euro Zone.” Simitis also indirectly gives an answer to Le Monde article claiming Goldman Sachs was the major Greek debt falsifier.

Costas Simitis: Greece Has Not Cheated!

“It is important to clarify the facts relating to the entry of Greece into the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and thus enable a better understanding of the “Greek problem” at a critical time when relations of trust between Greece and the European Union are disrupted. In an interview broadcast on TF1, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French head of state, described as “false” statistical data provided by Greece on its accession to EMU. He even said that the admission of countries in the euro area was a “mistake” committed by the governments of the day, he was not a member.

Recall the facts: the membership criteria are established in the Maastricht Treaty and the related budget deficit (less than 3% of GDP), inflation, interest rates and the stabilization of exchange rates. Their achievement is certified by the European Commission and European Central Bank (ECB), while the admission decision is made by the finance ministers in the Council for Economic and Financial Affairs.

Greece joined the euro area based on its performance evaluated in 1999. In 2004, following elections, the new government led by the New Democracy party has made a retroactive change of the rules applied for the recording of military expenditure: the latter, instead of being recorded on the date of delivery equipment – as was the rule in European countries – have been transferred to the order date. So large amounts that would be part of the budgets after 2004 were recorded as expenses in the previous period, which increased deficits in this period.

It has repeatedly denounced the treachery motivated by considerations of petty politics. It is unfortunate that Mr Sarkozy took up this idea on his own, unless it questions the integrity of the Commission and the ECB. He also failed to notice a telling detail of bad faith marking this discussion: the fiscal deficit of France when it joined in 1997 (estimated at 3.3% of GDP) was higher than of Greece (3.1%). It is hoped that the obsession with statistics will eventually give way to a more mature, focused on the conditions necessary to ensure the coexistence of countries with uneven levels of development within the monetary union. It seems to be the only way to ensure the continuation of the European project.”

 Simitis’ article has been translated via Google automatic translation. Read Full Article in French HERE
Those Were the Happy Euro Days: Simitis holding a Euro Coin, Papademos smiling…

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  1. Simitis might be right. As far as I know Eurostat only started warning about the Greek statistics around 2004 and never corrected the statistics before that date. ND did indeed change the accounting rules for the budget in 2004. And it worked out in a way that they would have finances to channel to their voters before the next elections. Some have suggested that PASOK tried the same in October 2009. And I partly agree with that assessment. It looks like the books were ‘over cooked’ in the 5 years before that faithful month. And when Papakonstantinou wanted to implement the ‘usual’ trick the bottom fell out of the pan.
    But that keeps on being speculations. What this really shows is that we need a Truth Commission. First and foremost for Greece, but also for the Eurozone.

  2. Greece is lousy at implementing laws and anything that has to do with discipline. Unfortunately, now they are going down and taking the rest of Europe with them.

    • every little EU country has its own “discipline” and debt problems, my dear. See and get information about Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Ireland just to name a few.

      • And dont forget Denmark!… 7-12 bill. kr. the state is cheated for each year in welfare, pensions ect.. Enough to build 3 new hospitals a year.. Buddy-agreements between municipalities and construction companies happens all the time. Politicians who get gifts from big companies and in return make the laws nessesary for the big companies to avoid taxes ect, is common. Politicians who just changed the pensioner-age, so people now have to work until they are 70 and over (depending on which year you are born) and at the same time refused putting their own retirement age to the same as the peoples. Want me to continue??

        So *Myself*, maybe try to check facts a bit and just MAYBE you will learn that this is not only a Greek-problem, but a massive problem all over the world.. OR you can choose to remain in the bubble and continue to be messed around!!!!!!

        • Living in bubbles makes life easier; i’ts just bad that bubbles have a short life and go bust.
          PS oh what a disappointment, I thought we were unique!

          • LOL very true.. I just keep being amazed how many actually live in one.. Even things which are right infront of them, they choose to ignore..

            Well, im very sorry for having to ruin your illusion.. 😉 Danes are just better at hidding it then the Greeks are 😛