The Expert Commission on the Reliability of Greek Fiscal Data has finally reported to Parliament.
Everyone is talking about the shadow EUR 40bn of liabilities that our statistics cannot as yet capture, and even FT Alphaville have called for translators so they can make sense of the new report, which is already sending the vulture-meter off the charts.
If you are a Greek speaker, you can read the report itself here.
If you're not, standby for EPIC FAILZ as I translate bits of the report here.
For now though, let me say it is a shame everyone focuses exclusively on the debt figures. The recommendations of the Committee are actually very good. They call for a first-ever set of fiscal rules and attach important addenda to the draft law on the independence of the National Statistics Agency, which could make it more authoritative and, indeed, independent. Let's hope they are taken on board.
I leave you with my favourite quote from the report:
"The National Statistics Agency does not collect data on municipal public companies and organisations. The only available data on these organisations are derived from a 2002 survey by PETA S.A. [Initials stand for Information - Education - Local Development], a research consultancy majority owned by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece. The 2002 findings have since been used by the National Statistics Agency in order to calculate the surpluses/deficits of local government organisations not only for 2002 but for every consecutive year as well."
Might as well pick a number out of a hat.