Several Argentine lawmakers from opposition parties accused President Cristina Fernandez and Domestic Trade minister Guillermo Moreno of allegedly ‘falsifying” the figures published by the government’s official stats office Indec.
In a press conference Alfonso Prat-Gay, Ricardo Gil Saavedra, Victoria Donda and Humberto Tumini said that the report includes the crimes of ‘illicit association; misappropriation of public monies; defrauding the government and a crime against the economic and financial order for systematically falsifying Indec stats”.
“It’s impossible to lie with stats unless there is a specific illicit association of government staff behind, among which is Moreno and Cristina Fernandez” said Prat-Gay.
Falsifying government stats on growth by overestimating the GDP has forced Argentina to make higher payments on the GDP linked bonds issued in 2005 and 2010.
“There is over a billion dollars in debt that should have never been paid”, underlined Prat-Gay who is also an economist and a former president of the Argentine central bank..
Indec has doubled the staff it had in 2006, when the institute was first intervened and that costs the Argentine taxpayer an additional 400 million Pesos annually (approx 50 million dollars).
The report was presented before Federal Judge Julio Ercolini and also includes the current Indec top officials Ana Maria Edwin and Norberto Itzocovivh.
Indec’s stats have been questioned not only domestically, where they are not considered serious, but also overseas with the IMF leading the crusade and warning about the membership consequences for Argentina of continuing to publish questionable percentages on GDP and inflation.
The most evident differences are with inflation, because according to Indec, it stands at just over 10% in the last twelve months while private consultants argue it is above 25%, which is confirmed by the stats offices of non-Kirchnerite provinces and even from those trade unions that although aligned with the government are demanding annual adjustments of over 25% and besides keep their own track of ‘prices’ and their impact on ‘workers’ pockets’.