Appeal Hearing Delayed for Greece’s Andreas Georgiou

In response to the news that the slander appeal hearing for the former head of the Greek national statistics office, Andreas Georgiou, has been postponed until September, ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein issued the following statement:

I am very disappointed that justice was again delayed for Andreas Georgiou. The September hearing date will push the persecution of Greece’s former head statistician into a tenth year, extending the violation of human rights of a man of great character, honor, and honesty. The continued persecution also undermines Greece’s production of objective and reliable official statistics. As the ASA Board of Directors stated in a statement in November, “Ending the prosecutions, accusations, and legal proceedings and exonerating Georgiou would signal Greece’s commitment to accurate and ethical official statistics [which], in turn, could help foster foreign investment and overall confidence among Greece’s international partners, which helps Greece’s economy.”

The ASA also noted the delay seems to contradict guidance in the European Convention on Human Rights for timely court proceedings: “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.”

On the rescheduled date, an appeals court will consider a 2017 civil court decision that found Georgiou liable for slander for defending the revision of government deficit and debt statistics that had been compiled before his tenure. The statistics revised under Georgiou’s guidance had been repeatedly found by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), to not be consistent with EU statistical rules.

More information about this case and general background on Georgiou’s legal battles, can be found in a September 2019 ASA policy update, “Eight Years of Government Persecution of Greek Statistician.