‘GIGANTIC LIE!’ Spanish government embroiled in ‘scandalous manipulation’ of debt figures

‘GIGANTIC LIE!’ Spanish government embroiled in ‘scandalous manipulation’ of debt figures

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Campaigners including a leading Madrid based economist have called on Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance chief who leads the eurozone’s ministers, to intervene immediately to probe the Spanish National Accounts.

They say the people of the country have become “victims of the greatest wave of political profligacy and corruption ever known in Spain’s recent history”.

The men have asked for a meeting with Mr Dijsselbloem who recently became angered over a ‘drinks and women‘ row raging at the European Union.

People are angry at Mr Rajoy and are demanding answersGETTY

People are angry at Mr Rajoy and are demanding answers


Eurostat has taken for good the most false and incongruent public accounts of the Eurozone

Spanish economists


And the experts are demanding the European Union’s flagship Eurostat organisation is hauled over the coals for its alleged inability to probe and produce accurate figures.

They say the Spanish people are being forced to pay for the “scandalous manipulation” of the economic data which might lead to the destruction of the Eurozone.

The letter seen by Express.co.uk was sent to Mr Dijsselbloem who has yet to respond to it.

The document is signed by economists Juan Laborda, Juan Carlos Barbas, Juan Carlos Bermejo, and Roberto Centeno, Professor Emeritus of Economy at the Technical University of Madrid, compares the country’s misfortune to Greece.

It says they felt compelled to flag the false figures because the entire system is flawed.

The letter states: “Mr President, you assert that Eurostat checks Spain’s economic figures on the basis of ‘appropriate quality measures’. 

“However, until now Eurostat has taken for good the most false and incongruent public accounts of the Eurozone. 

Spanish citizens have been protesting against corruption GETTY

Spanish citizens have been protesting against corruption

“In addition the European Commission has looked elsewhere to the repeated non-compliance with the macroeconomic objectives, ignoring Spain’s obligation to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact, which makes them necessary accomplices in the generation of a gigantic bubble of debt already impossible to pay back, and that will ruin the next generations of Spaniards for not less than 50 years.”

Mr Dijsselbloem responded to the first letter sent to him last November just a month ago and he has confirmed he will look at the figures.

However, the economists are determined to ensure that the truth, which they see as the EU agency refusing to acknowledge huge debt in order to protect the Eurozone, is exposed.

A bus with tourists passes by placards against corruption before a demonstrationGETTY

A bus with tourists passes by placards against corruption before a demonstration

The letter adds: “We believe it is essential to dismantle the gigantic lie of a supposed Eurostat’s control of the macroeconomic figures associated to the Stability Pact, something that, if not corrected immediately, might end the Eurozone as we know it. 

“What happened to Greece, which between 1999 and 2004 systematically manipulated its national accounts, is a precedent that we all remember.

“We illustrate this with a very representative example of how Eurostat does not verify anything in depth. 

People in Spain are taking to the streets in their thousands GETTY

People in Spain are taking to the streets in their thousands

“The official growth in 2012 was -1.7 per cent, a figure validated by Eurostat although it was manifestly false – a fact that the undersigned denounced in the Spanish media at the time. 

“Three years later, in 2016, the Spanish National Statistical Office (INE) reduced the 2012 growth figure to -2.9 per cent, an ‘error’ of 70 per cent that Eurostat could not or did not want to detect. 

“In 2013 again the Eurostat Government validated as usual the figure supplied by the Spanish Government, which was subsequently corrected by the INE in 2016 by 40 per cent.

Mr Rajoy is facing tough questions from the EU's Jeroen Dijsselbloem GETTY

Mr Rajoy is facing tough questions from the EU’s Jeroen Dijsselbloem

“In total, the INE has corrected GDP growth on four occasions – with corrections missing since 2014 – with a difference of 40 billion euros. 

“How is it possible that Eurostat did not detect such colossal errors?”

The experts also warn that Spain will be just “weeks away” from default if rates rise following the end of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing scheme.

The letter continues: “It is obvious that, by the time the ECB’s quantitative expansion ends, if interest rates grow or risk aversion increases, Spain would suspend payments and make default in a few weeks. 

“In this context, the European Commission should not become a necessary contributor to such a tragedy and should not be hiding reality. 

“The ECB and the Commission can no longer continue to ignore the reality, fuelling a bubble of debt impossible to repay, and whose outburst would make Spain and the whole Eurozone collapse. 

“Therefore, and by appealing to Article 6.3 of EU Regulation 223/2009, we renew our offer to meet you on a date of your convenience, to discuss face-to-face and with figures in hand the veracity of our calculations and the actual economic situation of Spain.”

Express.co.uk has repeatedly contacted Mr Dijsselbloem’s office asking them for comment on the letter from the Spanish economists.

So far Eurostat, who produce the figures he works from, have not answered the academics’ concerns raised in the letter or our queries.

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