Greek Fiscal and Financial Data: More than Meets the Eye

Z. Georganta
2011 Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review  
Statistical data plays such a vital role in policy-making in all fields of human activity that its quality and reliability is a matter of human well-being. Within today"s severe and unprecedented recession into which Greece seems steadily sinking, accuracy of national statistics has become as decisive for her survival as ever before. Our country"s potential to rise above the present situation for the good of Greece"s and eurozone citizens depends heavily on truthfully putting our statistics "in
more » ... order", something which is not currently happening. Fiscal and financial statistics may in general offer the greatest example of the principle "garbage in, garbage out". The issue is that users cannot usually assess the presence of garbage simply by reading the press releases, while at the same time they are suffering from the deleterious effects of the wrong-data. This paper uses extensively the concept-mapping approach to investigate basic reliability issues of Greece"s fiscal and financial statistics. The statistical location of the deficit and debt items is sketched out within the European System of Accounts and five data reliability issues are identified. The paper is concluded with proposals on two fundamental reforms required to enable Greek statistics to serve the public good.
doi:10.25103/jestr.043.02 fatcat:5e3knl5d4ff2pl4nustfmh42tu