The real culprit in Greece has been found
This was not of course in the EU summit agenda, but the real culprit who is responsible for this mess in Greece at last was found. As a matter of fact this person is also responsible for the recent problems all over Europe.
If he kept secret the horrible dimensions of some economic problems, such as deficits and debts, nobody would have been aware of the seriousness of those problems and there would have been no crisis. Naturally, someday European leaders would have woken up and comprehended the size of the coming crisis – however, if everybody’s happy for now, who cares about the future!
It is time to announce the name of this person who is responsible for the beginning of all problems: Mr. Andreas Georgiou, the head of Elstat, Greece’s newly established statistics office. This person now faces a criminal investigation for inflating the scale of the country’s debt. It is understood that this unfortunate man, after working at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 20 years, was appointed last year to clean up Greek statistics. The first problem is that his appointment was decided by an agreement between two ill-intended (!) foreign agencies: the IMF and the European Commission. The second and bigger problem is that he is an honest and correct professional who could not read the mind of the government.
Mr. Georgiou’s biggest guilt was to revise 2009 budget deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio from 13.4 percent to 15.8 percent. This revised figure, which was a record for a eurozone member state, was accepted by Brussels but renounced as an act against Greek national interests in Athens. It means that the biggest liar is the biggest patriot in Greece. For that reason Mr. Georgiou and his team were sacked of their job by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos. Mr. Georgiou was not as lucky as his team members and was promptly accused of betraying national interest. This might seem like a joke in other parts of Europe, but if he is convicted, he might face life imprisonment according to Greek laws.
After long discussions, when a deal was reached over a rescue package for Greece, everybody became very happy. It was announced that the deal was significant ‘not just for Greece, but for the stability of the Eurozone.’ However, if Mr. Georgiou’s case is taken into account, is it possible now to rely on the statistical figures which will measure and indicate the degree of the rehabilitation of the Greek economy?
If things do not go as intended, it is better not to announce the correct data in order to avoid standing in front of a prosecutor who may accuse you of treason. Can the present government give guarantees that those who tell the truth will be free of prosecution? If there is no such guarantee, who would dare to tell the truth?
The European Union recently faced serious political problems and tried to solve them peacefully. It seems that Mr. Georgiou’s case could not attract enough attention even in Brussels. However, if this understanding of “patriotism” in Greece does not change in a reasonably short time, the leaders of the Union might face a new and a very serious political problem.
It is not so difficult to impose some rules for a country which needs financial help to restore its economy. However, it is almost impossible to interfere in the judicial system in order to encourage the statisticians to tell the truth.
Not only did the government but all political parties, from far right to the far left, not like and contested the revised 2009 budget figures. That reaction was very normal; when Eurostat revised all past data, it was understood that if the true deficit figures were known, Greece would have failed to gain admission to the eurozone.
All these wrongdoings in a member country and careless acts of Brussels have proven that the early enlargement decision was a big mistake. After all this mess, is it possible to guarantee that the leaders of the Union will not make a new serious mistake during the coming years, or even months?