Former Greek statistics chief convicted for breach of duty

Save Story
Leer en Español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A high court in Greece has convicted the country's former statistics chief to two years in prison for breach of duty, in a politically charged case closely watched by international bailout lenders.

The court issued the suspended sentence for the 57-year-old Andreas Georgiou on Tuesday after finding him guilty of breaching regulations of the National Statistical Authority by failing to inform its governing board about the release of budget deficit data in 2010.

Georgiou, a former executive at the International Monetary Fund, headed the Greek agency between 2010 and 2015. He took charge just months after the country had revised previously misreported budget deficit data and the country was spiraling into financial crisis.

As the new director of the agency, also known as Elstat, he walked into a political firestorm over where the blame lay for the bad data and whether the new agency had indeed become independent.

But European Union officials have repeatedly defended Georgiou, arguing that his leadership was key to the country's ability to provide reliable fiscal statistics.

In the ruling, Georgiou was cleared on two more serious charges, including an allegation that he continued to be employed by the IMF early in his tenure at the Greek agency.

He was not present at the hearing in Athens, remaining at his home in the United States, according to lawyer Giorgos Stefanakis, who led his defense and described the ruling as a victory for his client.

"It's like being charged for a deadly traffic accident and being convicted for failing to renew your driver's license ... It is a resounding victory for Mr. Georgiou," he told the AP, adding that he advised his client to appeal the conviction at Greece's Supreme Court.

"We are very pleased with today's result because he was cleared on the serious charges," Stefanakis said.

Greece is currently in its third consecutive bailout program, with other eurozone member states backing rescue loans, while the IMF is monitoring the program along with the EU Commission and European Central Bank.

In Brussels, European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt made no comment on Tuesday's court ruling, but added: "We have full confidence in the accuracy and reliability of Elstat data during the period 2010 to 2015 and beyond."


Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed. Follow Gatopoulos at

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Business stories

Related topics



    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast