Georgiou Convicted Again, the ASA Continues its Pledge of Support for his Work and Independent, Objective Statistical Data

Earlier today, Andreas Georgiou, the former president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), was convicted on charges of violation of duty by an Appeals Court in Greece – the latest in an ongoing and unjust saga.

Upon learning of this unsettling news, the ASA issued a statement, expressing outrage and furthering a pledge of support for Georgiou, a longtime highly regarded professional in the international statistical community. The statement reads:

“We were disturbed to learn this morning of the conviction of Andreas Georgiou, the former president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), on charges of violation of duty by an appeals court in Greece. Dr. Georgiou was acquitted of these charges in December 2015; the decision to retry him amounts to double-jeopardy. As noted in our  March 27 letter to Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, “There is widespread agreement among statistical authorities that Dr. Georgiou compiled Greek public finance statistics in accordance with EU rules and standards, with which Greece is obliged to comply, and that the charges against him are baseless.” We reiterate the call that: “all remaining charges against Dr. Georgiou and his former colleagues be dropped immediately. Under no circumstances can criminal sanctions for developing and presenting independent and objective statistical data in a credible way be justified.”

Since 2013, Georgiou has been in legal battles with the government of Greece. When president of ELSTAT, Georgiou recalculated the country’s official economic statistics (according to European Union (EU) law) – figures and reports that were previously misused in years-long efforts by the Greek government to understate deficit and debt figures. And, even though statistics produced under his leadership were validated and published by Eurostat (the official statistics body of the EU) for five consecutive years, and numerous global statistics organizations have expressed support for his work, Georgiou’s unprecedented fight to clear his name has continued.

Just this week, Georgiou spoke at the 2017 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Baltimore titled “National Governments, Coerced Narratives, Creative Language, and Alternative Facts.”

In addition to this statement, the ASA President Barry Nussbaum issued an opinion piece calling on the United States Department of State and the U.S. Congress to intervene. Additionally, the ASA’s Science Policy Director Steve Pierson frequently updates members on Georgiou’s plight on his science policy blog.