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Greek Budget Expert Quits After Politician Attacks

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The head of an independent Greek budgetary panel stepped down Thursday, after Greece’s financial minister publicly lambasted the panel, according to a Reuters report.

The panel was set up in 2010 as part of Greece’s efforts to increase transparency and credibility. But comments made by economist Stella-Savva Balfousia about Greece’s debt situation being “out of control” drew fire.

From Reuters:

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday scathingly attacked the committee. "Yesterday's report lacks elements of credibility of other international reports," he said in a statement. "All necessary measures will be taken to upgrade and improve the credibility of the committee," he added.

Balfousia stepped down later on Thursday after Venizelos's comments, parliamentary and top government sources said. "She has submitted her resignation to the parliament speaker," one official said.

This looks very bad for Greece. It appears as if the “independent” committee is losing its independence, which is likely to give rise to renewed doubts about the credibility and accuracy of government reports of Greece’s financial health.

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