Greece's independent statistics agency, EL.STAT, on Wednesday denied charges that the IMF sought to participate in the publication of its figures, following same-day press reports that the Fund had requested that an observer be present during a recent inspection by Eurostat.
"It has never been stated that the IMF will participate in the publication of (EL.STAT) statistics," a press release by the agency stressed on Wednesday.
EL.STAT clarified that its president, Athanasios Thanopoulos, did, in fact, brief members of a Greek parliament committee that "an IMF official asked to participate, as an observer, in the customary experts' visit by Eurostat, which took place on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 within the framework of the excessive deficit procedure."
The agency said the observer request was granted, based on a decision to promote transparency in contacts between EL.STAT and Eurostat. It also mentioned that Commission and ECB observers were also present.