Sep 252013

Should the ISI family replace their leadership?

This is an Open Letter to Statisticians all over the world. It has been signed by the Ex-Vice President of the ELSTAT Board, Dr. Nicolaos Logothetis, and the Ex-Member of the ELSTAT Board, Prof. Zoe Georganta. It has been sent to more than 3,500 Statisticians in various countries of the world, as well as to the ISI leadership. Our cover letter to our international colleagues is the following:

Dear Colleagues:

We are sorry to bother you again about the ways of the ISI (International Statistical Institute) leadership towards us, Dr. Logothetis and me, ex-vice-president and ex-member of the ELSTAT (the Hellenic Statistics Authority) Board respectively. Unfortunately, we have to defend ourselves and our reputation against offensive language used in the ISI Open Letter, as well as to expose its surreptitiously clever ways to support Eurostat by covering-up its huge responsibilities due to its involvement in the untrue extreme augmentation of Greece’s public debt and deficit figures for the year 2009, an act which has resulted in the shocking, abrupt and unjustified insolvency of Greece and the destruction of its healthily growing economy. We would like to emphasize the outrageous mindset of the Director General of Eurostat, Mr. W. Radermacher, concerning the importance of truth and correctness or accuracy in economic statistics. Thus, in his interview  to New York Times on the 6th April 2012, under the title Greek Statistician Under Scrutiny for Budget Estimates Before Euro Crisis, Mr. Radermacher said: “The truth is not my business. I am a statistician. I don’t like words like ‘correct’ and ‘truth’. Statistics is about measuring against convention”.  It seems that Mr. Radermacher does not distinguish between ‘true’ (based on actual observation) and ‘false’ measurement, as well as between ‘correct’ (according to generally accepted specific rules) and ‘incorrect’ measurement. Moreover, the ESA95 (European System of Accounts) is a set of standards and norms generally accepted by the EU countries for the calculation of National Accounts and public debt and deficit; in other words, ESA95 is a convention since we have all in Europe agreed to make our measurements according to certain criteria so that we would be able to judge breaches of the ESA95 regulations. It seems that Mr. Radermacher exempts himself from these criteria.   

We would appreciate it if you could read our attached “Open Letter” and, if possible, advise the ISI leadership accordingly.

With kind regards

Zoe Georganta and Nicolaos Lgothetis