ECONOMY

Gov’t happy with digital progress

The government sees its digital strategy advancing successfully through its projects and initiatives within the context of 2007 being the year of «broadband connection and digital convergence.» Its aim is to help the penetration of «fast Internet» to 7 percent of the population by the end of the year. «Electronic governance, which is so important for the country, is going well and we will have the results, which are already obvious, far sooner than we had expected,» said Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. He oversees Information Society SA, which promotes a series of projects in the public sector for the development of electronic services, aimed at optimum service to citizens via the Internet. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis stressed that a series of projects and programs is under way to boost broadband connection, amounting to -450 million. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas added that the low-charge Internet program for students has been successful, with 29,800 applications by end-2006, of which 17,700 have been activated. Michalis Liapis, the communications minister, noted that there now are 500,000 broadband connections in Greece, from just 40,000 in 2004. His ministry has allocated -210 million for broadband infrastructure projects to cover 90 percent of the country. National Statistics Service data revealed yesterday that Internet use is at last expanding among Greeks: Some 67 percent of pupils aged 12-15 enjoyed Internet access in the first quarter of 2006, while 60 percent of children using computers or the Internet do so at least once a week.