Brief – Eurostat set for more powers in probing member states’ fiscal data

If the Council approves a Commission proposal, the EU’s
statistical office Eurostat will soon be able to carry out in-depth
monitoring visits in member states to verify national budget
statistics.

The Council regulation adopted by the Commission is designed to
ensure the quality of statistical data. It follows instances of
underreporting statistics on a major scale in Greece and on a
lesser scale by Italy.

The plan would be for Eurostat to carry out probes in
each of the member states in the first instance. Once that is done
the focus would be on conducting speedy checks in cases of
suspicious data. Under the proposals, national experts may be
called on to assist Eurostat officials and member states would
be expected to help mission officials as
required. 

“If there were another Greece, instead of posting a footnote, we
could send a team,” Eurostat spokesperson Philippe Bautier was
quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.

The UK, France and Germany are said to be among those against
opening their accounts to Eurostat.

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