Stats + Stories: Holding Up A Mirror To Society - A Tale Of Official Statistics In Greece

Jun 30, 2018

WYSO is partnering with Stats and Stories, a podcast produced at Miami University.

In 2010, Greece made news the world over as longstanding and growing budget deficits left that country facing a monumental economic crisis. The European Union, of which Greece is a member, agreed to a bailout plan for the country, but with it came severe austerity measures.

Andreas V. Georgiou is an economist with specializations in Monetary Theory and Stabilization Policy and in International Trade and Finance.
Credit via Stats + Stories

They were, and remain, deeply unpopular with Greeks and have left Greek politicians looking for a scapegoat. Standing in the midst of all of this is economist Andreas Georgiou, formerly of the International Monetary Fund. Georgiou took over as head of Greece's National Statistical Agency, ELSTAT, in 2010

While with ELSTAT, Georgiou discovered that Greece's budget deficit was actually underestimated, and revised the deficit upward. He, in essence, reported the truth of how deeply Greece was in the red.

The plight of Andreas Georgiou is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories. Rosemary Pennington is joined by regular panelists John Bailer, Chair of Miami Statistics Department, and Richard Campbell, Chair of Media, Journalism and Film. Their guest is Greek economist Andreas Georgiou. For the last 7 or so years, he's faced prosecution and persecution over the statistics ELSTAT produced during his tenure there.

Georgiou's been hailed into court over and over again, as prosecutors seek to pin Greece's financial pain on Georgiou and his ELSTAT team. He's been found innocent or had convictions annulled until recently. On June 10th, Greece's Supreme Court refused to overturn Georgiou's 2017 conviction on charges of violation of duty. 

Stats and Stories is a partnership between Miami University's Departments of Statistics and Media, Journalism and Film and the American Statistical Association. You can follow us on Twitter or iTunes. If you'd like to share your thoughts on our program, send your e-mail to statsandstories@miamioh.edu and be sure to listen for future editions of Stats and Stories where we discuss the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics.