Village of Oia on Santorini in Greece. Source: Big Stock Photo
ELSTAT and GSS - The Greek Statistical AgencyELSTAT: Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)
GSS: "Greek Statistical System"
History of statistics for the Modern Hellenic State
A census was conducted in 1828 to measure the population of Greece, marking the first independent Greek statistical effort as a function of the new government following the dissolution of the control of the Ottoman Turkish empire.
In 1836 the Ministry of Internal Affairs creates the Special Bureau of Public Finance for conducting statistical measurement, principally for population counting. In 1860 the Ministry is split into four sections, one of which is solely for statistical record collecting and storing.
In 1925, the "General Statistical Service of Greece" is created within the Ministry of National Economy. This service is powered to handle all official statistical research.
In 1956, the GSS is established by law to have complete operational and technical independence, with its authority and and its function under the control of the Greek Parliament. Despite the recent changes(2010) brought about by the IMF/eurozone agreements that created a "new" Greek statistical agency with operating independence from political bodies, the 1956 law is in effect over the "new" statistical agency, which is considered in spirit the continuation of the original Greek body. For information about the 2010 statistical agency changes, see this July 2010 news item
Purpose of ELSTAT
The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) is constructed in law to be an independent authority. It's administrative functions and authority is protected by and under final control by the control of the Greek Parliament.
ELSTAT is regulated by Greek 'Law 3832/2010 'Greek Statistical System (GSS)'.
ELSTAT was established to execute all of the responsibilities of the National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG) which were provided in Article 1 of the 1986 Presidential Decree #224 .
ELSTAT is directed by a group of of seven members. Four of the members are selected by the Conference of Presidents of the Greek Parliament, selected from suggestions from the Minister of Finance. Of the remaining three membership positions, one is proposed by the Governor of the Bank of Greece, another appointed by the Minister of Finance and the final member is from the Association of ELSTAT employees.
ELSTAT is a member of the Greek Statistical System (GSS). On a regular basis, ELSTAT is to gather necessary official statistics and to carry out scientific research. ELSTAT is to conduct studies which:
- a) provide data to all branches of government concerned with Greek economic and social activities
- b) to provide information and expertise for the support of Greek governmental agencies, and to provide data for the evaluation of governmental decisions
- c) to create statistical studies for submission to international organizations where required by the official legal commitments of Greece
- d) Measure and produce studies for matters of of public concern whether within Greece proper or internationally
ELSTAT activities are:
a) planning and implementing annual statistical programs. This data is provided as the official Greek data internationally through the Greek "national statistical authority" (NSA)
b) ELSTAT represents Greece as its national statistical authority to the European Union and to any other international organization with which Greece conducts an official relationship
c) ELSTAT cooperates with Eurostat and the other services of the European Commission.
d) ELSTAT participates in Eurostat working groups and other committees of the European Union
e) ELSTAT cooperates with international organizations as the Greek national statistical authority (NSA)
f) ELSTAT is responsible for the monitoring and the dissemination of statistical information for Greece.
g) ELSTAT provides data for the purposes of the promotion of international co-operation in matters of effective, accurate economic research
h) ELSTAT works in unison with and consults with all the other members of the GSS for
1) the development of methods for effective and accurate statistics in Greece
2) the creation of systems for statistical purposes in each domain of responsibility,
i) ELSTAT is responsible for the development, dissemination and coordination of the implementation of the Code of Practice of Eurostat within the GSS,
g) ELSTAT monitors consolidation efforts for the production of reliable European Statistical System statistics by ELSTAT staff and the staff of other GSS members,
h) ELSTAT certifies as "official" statistics, which "have been produced by other members of the GSS, with the reservation of the provisions of Article 23, § 5, according to which the responsibilities of the Bank of Greece for the collection of statistical data are not affected by the provisions of the Law 3832/2010. " (See the ELSTAT Presentation page for more information)
I) ELSTAT publishes an Official Journal for dissemination of statistics as produced by GSS members