Judges blast Com­mis­sion for re­sponse to court rul­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece’s Union of Judges and Pros­e­cu­tors is­sued a stern re­sponse yes­ter­day to con­cerns ex­pressed by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion over the con­vic­tion of the Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Author­ity’s for­mer chief for breach of duty. “The sound in­ter­pre­ta­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion of laws is as­signed by the Con­sti­tu­tion to ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties, whose judg­ment can­not be in­flu­enced by po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions, duress or ad­mon­ish­ments,” it said.

On Wed­nes­day, a Com­mis­sion spokes­woman said that An­dreas Ge­or­giou’s con­vic­tion for fail­ing to in­form ELSTAT’s gov­ern­ing board about the re­lease of bud­get deficit data in 2010 would be scru­ti­nized by the Eurogroup amid con­cerns that it could af­fect the author­ity’s in­de­pen­dence.

The rul­ing has also been chal­lenged by in­ter­na­tional me­dia, with the Fi­nan­cial Times cit­ing a Euro­pean statis­tics ex­pert called as a de­fense wit­ness who de­scribed the case as “an in­tim­i­dat­ing pre­set farce” with “open threat­en­ing be­hav­ior” in court.

Ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis in the Politico Europe weekly, mean­while, “Ge­or­giou has ar­guably be­come a scape­goat for politi­cians... try­ing to de­flect re­spon­si­bil­ity for Greece’s fis­cal prob­lems.”

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