By Jan Strupczewski
BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The European Commission is likely to launch infringement proceedings against Greece for failing to provide reliable statistics on its budget deficit and debt, an EU source with knowledge of the proceedings said on Tuesday.
The Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, is responsible for upholding EU law. It had already once launched proceedings against Greece for unreliable deficit statistics in 2004, but closed them in 2007.
“There will probably be another infringement procedure… because providing timely and reliable statistics is an obligation under EU law and they have failed in their obligation,” the EU source said.
Greece revised its 2008 budget deficit to 7.7 percent of gross domestic product from 5.0 percent reported in April and also revised its 2009 budget deficit forecast to more than 12 percent of GDP from 3.7 percent forecast in April.
A Commission report released by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat on Tuesday underlined reservations about past Greek data, saying Eurostat had questioned figures five times between 2005 and 2009.