The Athens Misdemeanors Appeal Court on Tuesday handed a two-year sentence, suspended for three years, to former chief of Greece’s statistical service, ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou.
The court did not recognize any mitigation and imposed the maximum sentence with the prosecutor’s assent.
The court found Georgiou was found guilty on one of three counts of breach of duty for taking the decision to revise Greece’s 2009 deficit figures without consulting with ELSTAT’s other board members.
He was cleared, however, of charges regarding the post he held at the International Monetary Fund while heading ELSTAT between August and November in 2010, and of consistently failing to convene ELSTAT’s board.
Earlier this month, Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou ordered the reopening of a case against Georgiou, after a council of appeals court judges ruled for a second time that he should not face charges.
In coming months, Greece’s Supreme Court is expected to rule over felony charges on “false certification” for allegedly presenting an inflated Greek deficit for 2009. The Court prosecutor had appealed against the second ruling in favor of Georgiou.
It was the second time that the country’s top prosecutor overturned an earlier ruling in favor of Georgiou, in a case that has become a touchstone for relations between Greece and its creditors.
Economist Andreas Georgiou,57, was appointed on 2 August 2010 as President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).On 2 August 2015, he surprisingly resigned from office with immediate effect.
In July 2016, the Greek Supreme Court upheld charges against Georgiou for having harmed the “national interest”, with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
These charges have been widely criticized as spurious by numerous international statistical bodies and experts who have backed the accuracy and ethics of his work. As the Financial Times reported: “The case has sparked outrage from economists and statisticians worldwide who believe Mr. Georgiou has become a scapegoat for Greece’s political class.”
sources: kathimerini, in.gr, wikipedia