Statisticians in the News: Andreas Georgiou

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell—who covers economics, public policy, politics, and culture with an emphasis on data-driven journalism—dedicated a recent column to calling attention to the public and legal persecution of ASA member Andreas Georgiou.

“For nearly a decade, on and off, Andreas Georgiou has been Greece’s Public Enemy No. 1,” Rampell wrote. “… Georgiou is not a mobster. He’s not a hit man or a spy. He’s a statistician. And the sin at the heart of his supposed crimes was publishing correct budget numbers.”

In the column, which has received hundreds of comments online, Rampell described the more than 10 years of history behind Georgiou’s efforts to improve and safeguard Greece’s national statistics. In November, the ASA Board issued a new public statement of support for Georgiou. Later this month, he will appeal a Greek court decision that he committed slander when he publicly defended his statistical agency’s numbers.

“And make no mistake: Georgiou may be the primary victim of this weaponization of the judicial system, but he is hardly its only target,” Rampell wrote. “Other civil servants—in Greece and in other countries weighing their commitment to rule of law—are watching and learning what happens when a number cruncher decides to tell the truth.”

Read Rampell’s entire column in the Washington Post.
Read the ASA Board statement and other background information.