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Episode 331: How Office Politics Could Take Down Europe

Government

Episode 331: How Office Politics Could Take Down Europe

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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

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Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR

Note: This is an updated version of a podcast that originally aired in Dec., 2011.

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 is facing criminal charges that could lead to time in prison.

Music: Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around...Comes Around." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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