The president of the INE, Juan Rodriguez Poohas communicated this Monday by email to his management team his resignation from the position for personal reasons after several days of rumors about his imminent dismissal by the Government in the framework of a general restructuring of the statistical institute in which the Government is working , as several INE sources confirm to ABC.
According to sources from the statistical institute this weekend there were internal meetings at the highest level to resolve the uncertainty created around the figure of the president. Until today the Ministry of Economic Affairs has refused to confirm the departure of the president of the INE.
Rodriguez Poo’s departure occurs in the midst of a phenomenal internal dustup at the INE as a result of the Government’s criticism of official statistics figures such as the CPI or GDP, which according to the Government have not been faithfully reflecting the situation of the economy.
“In the current circumstances, a possible dismissal of the president of the INE could be interpreted by society as an attack on the independence of the institute, motivated by the fact that the figures published by the INE of some relevant statistics are not in tune with the government’s economic forecasts». The Association of Higher State Statisticians (Aese), the platform that brings together the body of elite professionals that supports the national statistical system, had issued a harsh statement on Monday in which it pointed directly to the Ministry of Economic Affairs headed by Nadia Calviño in the open crisis in the institution due to the alleged maneuvers of the department to relieve Rodriguez Poo.
Internal sources of the INE assure that yes there have been movements in order to remove the current president after the succession of controversies in recent months around the CPI and National Accounts (GDP) data. The statement from the association of State statisticians recalls that since the approval in 1989 of the Law of the Public Statistical Function, more than 30 years ago, “no president of the INE was dismissed without mediating a change of Government.”
“What is an unprecedented novelty”, continues the statement in another of the six points that make it up, “is that from the Government itself and, in particular, from the Ministry of Economic Affairs the statistics figures of the INE are questioned as relevant as the CPI or the GDP, announcing months ago from the Ministry itself the creation of an unofficial statistic called ‘Daily Activity Indicator’ to contrast it with the GDP itself«, which confirms the internal turbulence generated by the results of the official statistics within the government.
The State statisticians call into question all these maneuvers by the Government, which in their opinion put “at risk the high credit that Spain’s official statistics currently enjoy, both before our partners in the European Union and before the users”.
A few weeks ago, the Association of State Statisticians circulated a statement among its associates in which it lamented the loss of quality of some public statistics due to what they denounced as a situation of abandonment by the Ministry, which condemned them to work without resources to cover both the statistics that appear in the National Statistical Plan and other experimental statistics that the INE has launched in recent months.
The matter has transcended the dimension of internal controversy and the Citizens MEP louis garicano has spoken this weekend to denounce the interference of the Government in the national statistical institute, recalling that Eurostat raised the standards of independence of the national statistical institutes to avoid errors such as those that forced the makeup of the official statistics of Greece during the great financial crisis and that triggered the country’s intervention.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism