Tuesday 21 November 2017

Robin Emmott: New Eurostat powers little-known side of European integration

Walter Radermacher
Walter Radermacher

WALTER Radermacher wanted to be invisible, and working in his unremarkable office above a suburban shopping centre in Luxembourg, the European Union's statistics chief nearly was.

But everything changed for Radermacher one October afternoon three years ago, when he received an alarming letter from Athens the day before his Eurostat statistics agency was scheduled to publish data on the state of Europe's accounts.

The letter was to transform Eurostat from a rubber-stamp organisation aggregating European statistics to a feared debt policeman with the power to search governments suspected of massaging their accounts.

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