In an article published in French “Le Monde” daily on November 16 issue, former Greek PM Costas Simitis supports that Greece did not enter the EMU by presenting falsified economic data as claimed by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his interview to TF1.
According to Mr. Simitis, the real conditions met by Greece when entering the monetary union must be clarified, so that the “Greek problem” is better understood
The former Greek PM stresses that Greece became a member of the monetary union complying with the Maastricht Treaty on the state budget deficit and inflation standard rates in 1997. More accurately, Greece’s GDP was at 3,1%, while France’s rate was at 3,3%.
Mr. Simitis also refers to the alteration of the deficit calculation passed by ND Party in 2004, which calculates defense outlays on the day of order rather on the day of acquisition of the equipment, contrary to what other Member States do. This resulted in the swelling of the deficit sheets of 2004.
With his article “Greece did not cheat”, Mr. Simitis claims that “It is a shame for Mr. Sarkozy to adopt such an opinion that it was a mistake for Greece to enter the euro, unless, of course, he questions the integrity and credibility of the European Commission and the ECB”.