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Former Greek data chief given suspended sentence

An Athens appeal court has handed Greece’s former statistics chief a two-year suspended sentence for “violating” his duties during the country’s sovereign debt crisis.

The conviction of Andreas Georgiou came as a surprise as the former chairman of country’s statistical agency, Elstat, had been acquitted of the same charges by another appeals court only eight months ago.

Speaking to the Financial Times from his home in the US, where he moved when his term at Elstat ended, Andreas Georgiou insisted he had acted properly. “I would defend and apply the principle again today with no hesitation and so should every head of a statistical authority,” he said.

He also said that he had been convicted for following “the principle of professional independence as required by EU and Greek law. In Europe we do not put statistical results up for voting [by a board]”.

Mr Georgiou’s lawyers said he would appeal to Greece’s supreme court.
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