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EU Statisticians Given More Powers After Greek Data Fiasco

Can the numbers be trusted?
Finance ministers from the European Union have determined that the EU's statistical office, Eurostat, should have greater powers of scrutiny over national data on public finances.

The measure, agreed at a meeting in Luxembourg, is meant to prevent a repetition of Greek-style misreporting that triggered the current debt crisis in several European countries.

The ministers proposed that Eurostat be given audit-like powers over data submitted by EU national governments.

Currently, that information has to be taken at face value by Eurostat statisticians.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn today expressed "some concerns" over economic statistics provided by Bulgaria and is considering sending an inquiry mission there.

On June 7, Eurozone nations began setting up a massive bailout fund that could rescue any member of Europe's currency union from default.

The EU/IMF package will total 750 billion euros ($1 trillion).

compiled from agency reports