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Remote Not Working: Pandemic Sees Greece's Public Services Slow

Αssociated Press

A man looks in a closed train station in Piraeus, near Athens, during a 24-hour strike on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Greeks needing public services are growing frustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic that requires them to get an appointment and many civil servants allegedly working from home.

Simply services require making an appointment by phone, but Kathimerini reporting phones routinely aren't answered at public offices and email not available either, leaving people without access.

With some people, especially the elderly, not knowing how to use technology it's become exasperating to try to get paper work done in civil service offices even if it's critical.

Businesses also are having trouble getting anything done with the state with public offices having fewer staff on duty and, the paper said, no monitoring of those supposed to be working at home to see if they are or getting paid vacations.

That has led to delays in certifications and licenses at the same time the New Democracy government said it wants to make using the bureaucracy easier to lure more foreign investors as the economy sags from two lockdowns.

Complaints are especially piling up about tax offices, the social security and pension service and Civil Protection, those highest in demand during the now more than eight-month pandemic.

In other cases concerning social security offices, many people with disabilities have basically been left without their pensions or disability allowance and complaints public agencies don't have email access for anyone.