Mitsotakis: “We Are Changing the State Using Technology as a Tool, Not an End in Itself”

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday offered his warm congratulations to the leaderships of the ministries of labour and digital governance for their work, while attending an event at the labour ministry to mark the upgrading of electronic services offered to the public by the social insurance and employment agencies and departments.

“I was thinking that the definition of progress is relatively simple: progress is to not accept the logic that nothing can be changed,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the experience of a woman that had used the 1555 call centre during a demonstration of its operation.

“Our fellow citizen said it all: from the comfort and safety of her home she could process her applications with an expert of the organisation. Nothing was self-evident, hundreds of people worked for it and this project had a high degree of complexity. The 1555 line is not a simple call centre. I would like to invite the citizens to make greater use of 1555,” he said, noting that it was a great thing for a public service to be awarded as call centre of the year.

“We are changing the state using technology as a tool, not an end in itself,” Mitsotakis added.

According to the prime minister, relations of trust were being built and “our democracy can take deepen its roots in this way”, while he emphasised the importance of the certified lawyer and accountant as an institution.

“A non-partisan state views all citizens in the same way but has an obligation, however, to turn its attention on those with the greatest need. The weakest are the victims of bureaucracy and lack of transparency. We will continue with the same fervour in the same direction. Imagine a 1555 for the whole state. The effort to modernise the state does not stop, in order to turn into action the message that service is truly social policy,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister noted that more than 200 electronic services offered by the EFKA social insurance fund, the recently renamed Public Employment Service (former OAED) and the Organisation for Welfare Benefits and Social Solidarity (OPEKA), had in the last five years completed 260 million e-transactions, transforming the service offered to citizens.

“Before the elections, the citizens were telling us to ‘change the state’ and this is what we did. We turned this into action and working each day in this direction,” Mitsotakis said, stressing that “the citizen is first and above all.”

In addition to the call centre, there was also a presentation of new channels for communication between the state and citizens, such as myOAEDlive and myEFKAlive that offer online meetings via video call, the electronic appointments system and the collaboration with Citizen Service Centres, which accounted for 2.5 million transactions.

The prime minister underlined that the feeling that the state scorned and did not respect citizens was a major factor in disrupting the sense of trust between the citizen and state, as well as being a major driver of populism and for making people ready to believe those offering easy solutions to complex problems.

“I believe that this great effort we are making, at its core, is an exercise for strengthening democracy itself and our institutions. Because in this way, we are building relations of trust,” he added.


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