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Activity Number: 90 - Late-Breaking Session I: National Governments, Coerced Narratives, Creative Language, and Alternative Facts
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Monday, July 31, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: JSM Partner Societies
Abstract #325469
Title: Greece: When Official Statistics Fall Prey to Political Interests
Author(s): Andreas Georgiou*
Companies: Consultant-Official Statistics

For many years Greek statistics observed neither EU statistical laws nor statistical principles. As a result they were persistently misreported, feeding a false political narrative about economic policy performance. This undermined policy making, as well as the markets and democracy, contributing to the Greek and the broader EU crisis. Official statistics finally started being produced according to the law and statistical principles in 2010, accurately reporting Greece's current and past economic performance and underpinning the domestic and international efforts to address the challenges. But while the new quality statistics were being used for these purposes, various political forces challenged the statistics as being contrary to the national interest and supported numerous prosecutions against the statisticians that applied the rules, with a view to feed political narratives of denying policy responsibility and scapegoating for the continuing crisis. This has created terrifying disincentives for statisticians in Greece to produce reliable statistics, but also has repercussions for statisticians worldwide.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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