Currency

How Office Politics Could Take Down Europe

Andreas Georgiou (left) is the technocrat charged with running the Greek statistics office. Konstantinos Skordas (right) sits on a governing board for the statistics office

Andreas Georgiou (left) is the technocrat charged with running the Greek statistics office. Konstantinos Skordas (right) sits on a governing board for the statistics office Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR

If you're looking for the beginning — and, possibly, the end — of the European financial crisis, you can find it in a single building: The Greek statistics office, at 46 Peireos Street in Athens.

We visited recently and found what may be the world's most high-stakes game of office politics.

On one side: The technocrats, led by Andreas Georgiou, who was appointed last year to run the office.

On the other : The old guard, including Konstantinos Skordas.

Georgiou's technocratic ways — like reporting Greek deficit figures directly to European authorities — have landed him in hot water with the old guard.

His email was hacked, he says. His workers went out on strike. And now he faces a criminal investigation that could lead to life in prison.

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