Greece Purposefully Inflated Its Deficit Numbers To Get EU/IMF Assistance

Tyler Durden's picture

In news that will likely not surprise many, Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia reports that according to a just terminated member of the Greek Statistical Authority, Greece artificially misrepresented its 2009 15.4% deficit number to Eurostat in order to obtain aid from the EU and IMF. Per professor Zoe Georgantas "The deficit was artificially inflated in 2009 to show that the country had the largest deficit across Europe, including that of Ireland was 14% in order to justify all these severe measures against the country. And we presented in the Eurostat 15,4%." While there appears to be a substantial political back story here, and we would be careful at taking these claims at face value, the last thing Europe needs is for its people to realize that they have been duped (and continue to be so), by the PIIGS countries, which as we pointed out before on several occasions, have figured out that the balance of power in capital extraction is entirely in their favor, and paradoxically see their position strengthened, the weaker they are, as the Eurozone has no alternatives but to keep ploughing ever more capital into these bankrupt nation. As such it would not be surprising if Italy's official deficit has also, like in Greece, been substantially misrepresented in an adverse light recently,after being shown to be far better than reality for years, simply to have a stronger political case for demanding more EU and IMF funding. 

More from the article, google translated:

"The deficit target for 2009 appeared deliberately to 15.4% from Eurostat. I had to look bigger than Ireland, which was 14% in order to pick unaffordable measures against Greece "reveals the 'E' Professor, University of Macedonia and committee member of the Greek Statistical Authority, Georganda.


But five of the seven committee members dismissed from their duties as announced yesterday by the House, Evangelos Venizelos, and only the President (!), Because " problems in personnel and administrative level. "


These problems, however, reveals today the 'E', ranging from the "isolationist, anti-democratic, authoritarian" function of President Andrew George, as has been terminated and the association of workers in ELSTAT and reached up to the systematic exclusion of members of than to express a view on serious issues such as scientific accuracy of statistical methodologies followed the regulations of the Authority, the regulation of undertakings made to the Authority, other government agencies and others.


The conclusion of Mr. Georgantas denies another committee member, saying that science can prove that "public bodies, not publicly funded and were entered in this list, it can affect so much the final configuration of the deficit" . In any event, in this sense a high level of political and judicial intervention in complaint as regards the most important politico-economic issue in recent decades with Greece at the heart of the biggest crisis and the society in total economic bleeding.

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wang's picture
wang (not verified) Sep 16, 2011 7:39 AM

so Greece and Italy are actually in better financial shape?

this sounds like the equivalent of rumor anti-matter

espirit's picture

It's a hmmm moment for me too.  If you are going to lie, might as well lie big - so Greece's economic situation may very well be much much worse than so far exposed.  That's the way I see it / believe it to be.

Reverse false flag, willing to be proven wrong.

Melin's picture

Some beggars make 65k a year in handouts. 

Get it?

mayhem_korner's picture

Grossed up for the avoided taxes, that's a six-figure job.  BLS prolly ought to tweak their numbers.

richard in norway's picture

actualy begging is a skill, having tried it i can tell you that is not as easy as it looks. those that have the skill can make shitloads of money, but i never had that skill and just made enough to survive until i got myself on my feet. wworking for a living is much eaier at leastt for me. thats the free market skill is rewarded if you fail you die. and in the case of begging that not hyperbole. one time i was working the same steet with another guy, he made 50 times what i did but he was very good

X.inf.capt's picture


sounds like the p.i.i.g.s.  snuck up on these bankers....

and PANTS 'em.

mayhem_korner's picture

this sounds like the equivalent of rumor anti-matter


George:  She liked the menage?

Jerry:  She liked for the menage.

George:  (flustered) That's...that's...that's like discovering plutonium by accident!


MsCreant's picture

Uh, no, really, we were just making it up how bad it was, we're okay, honest. No problems here. Now take your bankruptcy lawyer and just go, okay?

Killtruck's picture


Why fabricate stats that will force austerity upon your own countrymen? Tired of paying out pensions? Doesn't make sense.

DirtMerchant's picture

Because they couldn't kick the can farther without outside intervention (money) demanding austerity measures...politically it was smart, economically it was stupid, just prolonging the inevitable while trying to create a soft landing on sharp rocks

Killtruck's picture

That premise assumes:
1.) a group of politicians will do the smart thing and
2.) a group of politicians are incapable of kicking the can farther.

I find it difficult to believe #1, even without #2.

DirtMerchant's picture

I disagree, politicians will always do what is smart for themselves, implementing austerity themselves is political suicide, they needed both austerity and money to continue the can kicking,  however getting the EU to demand it WHILE supplying, politicians blame austerity on EU money handlers and the can continues to kick while politicians keep the scabs to a minimum. 

Killtruck's picture

Well...dammit, that's an excellent point.

edotabin's picture

It doesn't make sense because your thought revolves around "countrymen"  Once you dump that old sense of loyalty and become cynical enough to realize they do not give 1 single fuck about you as a citizen, then you might get it.

The bankers want these political/economic unions and trading blocs. They will lie, cheat, starve people, manipulate the news and do anything humanly possible to get this done.

This is why Greece is always ALMOST declaring bankruptcy and being saved at the last second BUT IT NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS.  Once/If it happens nobody will need the EU anymore. Think of the bankruptcy as bait to tame otherwise independent people that do not obey authority. "Saving" these nations provides credibility for the EU in the long run, despite what it may look like now.

So now we hear the numbers were "fudged" worse than what they actually were.  For years we were hearing the exact opposite about how Greece was lying to cover up their deficits. If this isn't manipulation, I do not know what is.

Many articles here point out the ponzi scheme and how "rigged" everything is. They are 100% correct.  They do not however take into account that reality is what certain people want it to be. Actual reality simply doesn't matter anymore. The only reality that matters is that a select few want fewer governments so as to eliminate dissent and to be able to control it from fewer power centers.

For example, you have Merkozy and Trichet making decisions for all of Europe. This would not be possible if everything was fine in Greece, Portugal, etc. If that means Greek numbers need to be fudged "worse" than what they actually are in order to allow them in, then so be it.  Then after they establish their foothold, Europe is saved, they are the heros and history records how these brave politicians saved the world from the brink of destruction.

Long story short, it is an uphill battle for TPTB. Can they maintain this illusion so as to consolidate power, get all the assets and make everyone a miserable serf?  Or is it that their days are numbered and this crap comes crashing down?


dcb's picture

cause you can then sell of state assets to your crony capitialist friends and make yourself rich doing so. the huge mistake you make is to assume any leader has love of their country. it's about stealing assets. you see it all over the middle east. G-pap has a lot of associations. According to something I read he and a buch of his boys got some greek banks to sell then cds on the cheap. So he has  a direct reason to profit from poor figures. the article was in fact posted on zh by a greek.


What you didn't see mubarak, and his cronies buy stuff on the cheap when egypt liberalized. Or Russia when they privatized.

scatterbrains's picture

we lied because we love the adrenalin rush from watching the beat downs and riots in the street.. honest things arn't that bad.

LeBalance's picture

Ummm...the whole thing really...Lehman...we lied...ummmm.....Gold Window....we have plenty....29 crash....there was plenty of liquidity...just print out some more!.....roll it back until the folks say stop?  Pre-Jurassic?

dax's picture

when is, the usual greece defaults during the w/e, hitting the news flow? havent seen it yet and getting nervous

MsCreant's picture

Can you put Genies back into the bottle? We are getting ready to find out.

buzzsaw99's picture

now there's something you don't see every day.

DirtMerchant's picture

been meaning to tell you, great avatar!

Negro Primero's picture

..just wait till she/he farts!

snowball777's picture

"I meant to do that." lulz

mayhem_korner's picture

"Please don't throw me in the briar patch" 

JJSF's picture

Bullish. Long everything.

scratch_and_sniff's picture

Could be a double bluff; tell the press someone has been fired for making things out to be worse than they were, with the implication being that things arent so bad (heh). Anyone seen my meds?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

fucking American president's wives is a greek right (they know what's important in Athens)or is that Troy's wives?? hmm time goes by so quickly..lying about money well thats just Swiss.


mayhem_korner's picture

Monday I thought Germany was holding up the finger to Greece...maybe it's the other way around.

tim73's picture

Greeks should be ashamed of themselves. This is their year zero now.

Medea's picture

Yes, certainly the message from this is that generic "Greeks" should be ashamed of themselves. Way to not hit the nail on the head.

Irish66's picture

grandma meet bus, now get under it

cat2's picture

You've been big fat pwned.

skistroni's picture

From the full report, the professor complained that they were forced by European Authorities to include certain non-subsidized GSEs in the deficit calculations (which made a 1% difference or thereabouts). 

Of course, there was no mention of the fact that at the end of 2009 there was about 15B EUR in over 3-year overdue state liabilities to private sector enterprises, which were pushed to 2010 (after having been pushed to 2009, and 2008 before that) so as not to "inflate" the deficit, which would reach 20% of GDP if these were paid on time. 

All this money started getting paid, after Greece got the first bailout, and is one of the main reasons why, despite all the austerity and the measures, the deficit does not get substantially reduced. 

So yes, indeed, this is just political whining from someone that got sour. 

Lord Welligton's picture


Do you have a handle on what unpaid liabilities to the private sector are now?

skistroni's picture

Last time it was announced (May), it was about 5B. Mostly to construction companies at the moment. 

Lord Welligton's picture


So that would be €5bn to add to the current deficit?

drider's picture

The Greek construction sector still is a huge bubble, partly due to the Olympic games, road building and residential construction activities.

A serious government would not pay a penny out of these liabilities without first checking all the accounts and ballances of the construction companies along with the quality of the infrastructure received. Much of the acclaimed costs are fraudently oversized by issuing false invoices by non-existing 3rd party companies (subcontracts that never took place).  

A sidenote: the Greek media are run by two type of bussinessmen - shipowners and owners of big construction companies.

agent default's picture

This country sounds more and more like something straight out of 1980s Africa or Latin America.

drider's picture

Maybe you see now where the majority of the euro-liquidity was transfered in Greece (with the complicity of Greek governments and banks).

The official (media) story in Greece is that all Greek people are responsible for this financial mess so they should continue picking up the tab.

That has a grain of truth since Greek people voted for governments that allowed all these to happen.

BUT Greece creditors are also responsible to an extend because in reality they ALWAYS knew what was the real story.

Class warfare is about to break-out in Greece.


Minoan's picture

It's almost 3% of gdp or 6.63B according to the end of June data.

Can't post link-has greek characters.


MS7's picture

That's interesting. I was hoping the report would be true, as it would mean Papandreou would have to step down or face the consequences. But I am sure what you are saying is correct.

But I wanted comment on your point about the deficit not being reduced despite the austerity. The deficit never will be reduced by the austerity measures taken. As I understand it, it will only increase. The GDP is going down due to the decrease in demand. That is a result of cutting wages, pensions, jobs. How many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of this! It's sad. Meanwhile, the debt is going up.

I just hope the Greeks can get rid of the troika and the troika's "man in Athens," G-Pap.

drider's picture

I am not sure if economically-wise 4 or 5 billions (acclaimed difference to reported debt) would make that much difference in the current situation of Greece.

BUT having evidence that G-Pap and his government manipulated these numbers to ensure that a mechanism like troika was hastily constructed especially for Greece, makes all the difference in the world politicaly-wise.

Both for Greek and European people!

Version 7's picture

According to latest news Greece only has money to pay public wages until October and I've even heard that they're running out of cash to pay for this years' school books. Not to mention that there's so much money in Greek banks as water in the Sahara desert.

kito's picture

I'm sure the chinese are relieved

LawsofPhysics's picture

First,  how in the hell does stuff like this even get any attention.  Second, how is this not bullish?

MFL8240's picture

These politicians would allow civil unrest and ruination of their country?  That is low!

Zgangsta's picture

This is very bullish. It will be even easier than we thought to get Greece's house in order now.

Josh Randall's picture

The IMF and the EU Banksters make Greece sound like it's Gary, Indiana or something. If Greece rooked the Banksters for extra cash on false numbers, of which they plan to default and roll out a PM backed Drachma, that would be the ultimate double switcherrooo of all time.