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Sir, As you reported on May 22 (FT.com), the eurogroup failed to complete the review of the economic programme with Greece and enable the disbursement of €7bn of Eurozone member taxpayer money to Greece. Negotiations are continuing. Meanwhile, on May 29, Andreas Georgiou again went on trial for violation of duty while he was president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat) from August 2010 to August 2015 (The Big Read, December 30, 2016).

These two strands should be linked, but to date have not been. The eurogroup and associated European organizations (the European Stability Mechanism, the European Commission and the European Central Bank) have not established the appropriate linkage.

Mr Georgiou and senior colleagues of his at Elstat are being prosecuted for doing their job in producing honest statistics about Greece’s fiscal condition for 2009, before the start of the first Greek programme, and during the first five years of programmes. Their work is central to the Greek economic reform efforts. It was based on European standards for statistical data quality. Successive Greek governments have committed to comply with those standards and to defend the professional independence of Elstat. The current government and several previous governments have failed to live up to these commitments.

We the undersigned call on the European authorities not to complete the programme review with Greece until and unless the Greek government declares publicly in writing that the statistics compiled by Mr Georgiou and his colleagues at Elstat were accurate and that they were produced and disseminated using appropriate processes and procedures based on European standards.

Michel Camdessus

Paris, France

José Manuel Campa

Madrid, Spain

Edwin M. Truman

Washington, DC, US

Gertrude Trumpel-Gugerell

Vienna, Austria

Nicolas Véron

Washington, DC, US and Paris, France

Geoffrey Woglom

Amherst, MA, US

Edmond Alphandéry

Paris, France

Paul Armington

Washington, DC, US

Ruthanne Deutsch

Washington, DC, US

Robert D Kyle

Washington, DC, US

Barry D Nussbaum

Annandale, VA, US

Christopher Smart

Boston, MA, US

Peter H. Sturm

Washington, DC, US

Stephanie Tsantes

Lewes, DE, US

Ronald L. Wasserstein

Springfield, VA, US

Charles Wyplosz

Geneva, Switzerland

Jeromin Zettlemeyer

Washington, DC, US

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