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Politics

Greece Switching More to Digital Services to Avoid Bureaucracy

ATHENS – Anyone who’s ever stood in line waiting to be helped at a Greek public sector office has alternatives for some services as the government is turning more toward digitzing portals for online documents.

Citizens in 2021 avoided up to 60 visits to public administration offices in 2021 by logging to the gov.gr digital portal said Money Review as the New Democracy rulership is speeding access to techology instead of waiting in line.

The integrated public administration systems either provided digital services to the citizens or exchanged information with each other 566,962,980 times, found data from the interoperability center of the General Secretariat of Public Administration Information Systems of the Ministry of Digital Governance.

In the old days – when stacks of documents could be seen on floors in public offices – citizens having to process a case requiring the involvement of multiple public agencies were forced to shuttle documents between agencies.

The interoperability center allows, through automated calls (web services), the exchange of information between services and registries of the State without any action on the part of the citizen, beyond the granting of his consent, the report added.

In 2021 there more more than 297 million calls, up from 37 million in 2020 and the number of document authentications using Taxisnet (the tax service) was 265.1 million, while citizens were served 4.5 million times using web banking codes.

There were six times as many digital transactions in 2021 as in 2020, when they were 94 million. They were 34 million and 8.8 million in 2019 and 2018 as the push toward digitization has been accelerated.

When the digital portal was launched, it had 501 applications and now has around 1,300, transactions spiking partly because of the heavy use of services such as self-test statements, but also the issuance of European certificates for COVID-19.

One of the new services launched this year includes the issuance of consensual divorce. Drug prescriptions are the most popular service after self test statements and school cards, the report added.

“The number of digital transactions has a direct impact on the daily life of every citizen, as we measure how many queues he was able to avoid. For 2021, a year of pandemic, this number for every adult citizen translates into about 60 public service visits that did not have to be made. The exponential rise of digital transactions in recent years reflects the exponential leap that the state is making in its digital transformation through gov.gr,”Minister of Digital Governance Kyriakos Pierrakakis also told the site.

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