This website is dedicated to rectifying the political persecution of Andreas Georgiou, who has been unjustly subjected to an onslaught of criminal and civil suits in Greece. This treatment arose because Andreas – from his position as President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (“ELSTAT”), Greece’s National Statistical Office – insisted on keeping accurate statistics covering Greece’s public financial situation. All of this has imposed extraordinary hardship on Andreas and his family.
Andreas’ plight has elicited an international outcry. Various statistical organizations and other professional bodies from around the world have expressed their deep concern to the Greek Government about Andreas’ treatment. A recent statement by the American Statistical Association supporting Andreas was signed by over 1000 individuals from around the world, including nine Nobel Laureates. The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Economist, among others, have all editorialized in Andreas’ favor.
Having served 21 years at the International Monetary Fund, Andreas returned to Greece in 2010 to serve his country as President of ELSTAT. He effected a massive improvement in Greek official statistics. For example, in the five years preceding Andreas’ tenure, Eurostat six times put reservations on Greek deficit and debt statistics, meaning Eurostat could not certify the quality of these statistics. In contrast, during Andreas’ 5-year tenure, Greek public finance data did not receive any Eurostat reservations, a credit to the dramatic improvements Andreas made.
However, this commitment to accurate statistics led to a political backlash in Greece, fueling a broadside of criminal and civil charges against Andreas personally. These have included, among others, criminal charges for “false statements and complicity against the State” and “repeated violation of duty” as well as criminal and civil charges for “slander”.
These legal threats are very real.For example, Andreas has already been found guilty of “violation of duty”; he is requesting the Greek Supreme Court to annul the conviction. Moreover, the charge of “false statements and complicity against the State” carries a potential life sentence and the Supreme Court is considering for a second time whether to reverse Andreas’ acquittal by a lower court. In this context, Andreas has had to retain Greek counsel at significant expense. This saga, of multiple prosecutions, some of which have been revived a number of times, has beleaguered Andreas for seven years.
The financial cost has been very difficult to bear, but the stress on Andreas and his family has been staggering. No one should have to face such circumstances simply for patriotically performing public service for their country. No official statistician should be persecuted for implementing existing statistical laws and international statistical principles and ethics in their work.
Andreas deserves the support of every person committed to accurate and transparent official statistics. If official statisticians in Greece are persecuted for producing accurate statistics, the integrity of Greek statistics will be jeopardized. Moreover, the European Union and its economic system, as well as its democratic values, are all critically undermined. Furthermore, a terrible precedent is created, increasing the risks for objective and impartial statistical production in countries around the world, even undermining the international financial system.
We ask you to support Andreas by speaking out on his behalf – and by contributing to his legal defense. The funds will be transferred to an account set up only for the legal fees of Andreas. In the case legal fees turn out to be lower than expected, half of the remainder will be given to Elpida, a Greek charity that works with children needing bone marrow transplants. The other half of any potential remainder will be given to the International Statistical Institute for use, at the discretion of its Executive Committee, in the promotion of reliable and impartial statistics.
The following links provide more information on the persecution of Andreas, the international press coverage of the issue, and documentation demonstrating the support shown for Andreas by respected individuals throughout the world. Please join us in support of Andreas Georgiou.
This link leads to the statement by the American Statistical Association.
This link leads to a collection of articles on Andreas' case, encompassing major journals in Europe and the US.
This link leads to a chronology of Andreas‘ case provided by the International Statistical Institute.