Takis Theodorikakos, Minister of Citizen Protection, announced July 20 one of the most important, I would call it beneficial, decisions ever taken for the benefit of Hellenism abroad and for establishing closer relations with the motherland: It extends the validity of Greek passports from 5 to 10 years. Something that already applies to U.S. and other passports.
Now if he contributes, as I believe he will, to the electronic processing and simplification of passport-related matters, as well as to the faster granting of citizenship – even though that is part of the responsibilities of Makris Voridis (Minister of the Interior) – to those who deserve it, then – and in combination with giving Hellenism abroad the vote, despite the problems with that law, in which Theodorikakos himself played an important role – both he and the government in which he participates will be considered as one of the friendliest in history for Hellenism abroad.
As all of us living abroad, but also many Greeks know very well, the process of obtaining or renewing a passport is long and torturous despite the good intentions and self-sacrifice that a consulate can show, such as e.g. of New York during the days of Konstantinos Koutras.
Thus, by doubling the validity period of the passport, the work at the consulates, at the police authorities, etc., is simultaneously reduced by 50% and so obtaining/renewing should be much faster.
In the event that, as I believe, Theodorikakos takes care of the electronic processing of passports, at least as far as his sector, the police, is concerned, then he will have freed us from a mountain of suffering, he will have untied the hands of the consular authorities and even given the government a serious tool, which it will be able to use in the next elections.
From the beginning of the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, we had set as an immediate goal the resolution of the obsolete bureaucratic procedures that torment the Greek diaspora, but which, with will and persistence and despite the usual reactions of the bureaucracy, can be resolved thanks to technology.
We had held many meetings within the government to achieve these goals.
I am glad that in some cases at least they are gaining momentum that is accelerating.
I therefore congratulate my friend the Minister for his decision, and I believe that he will continue to be the best possible ally of Hellenism abroad.
After all, this is the essence of politics. Solving problems, at least one or more a day, that make life easier for citizens.