Greeks have saved themselves an estimated 75 hours each between last summer and March thanks to the introduction of digital appointments with public services, according to the Digital Governance Ministry.
The country’s digital transition is one of the four main pillars of the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan, “Greece 2.0,” which was presented by the government about two months ago.
To this end, the Digital Governance Ministry has created the Digital Transformation Book, which lists, among others, 455 digital transformation projects that it aims to implement through 2025.
These projects concern matters that affect the whole country, including issues of connectivity, the development of a network of submarine cables connecting the mainland to the Greek islands, and information management systems for the agri-food sector.
Another project involves setting up of an information system to support the licensing of photography and filming at monuments and archaeological sites.
A total of 105 projects have already started, with some, such as the digitization and simplification of registries, and the intangible issuing of prescriptions, already up and running for more than a year. Meaning, in the area of education, we can expect to see digital high school diplomas this fall.
The Greek state’s gov.gr web portal, created last March, has been at the heart of this digital overhaul, simplifying a range of activities – from the online declaration of deeds, to obtaining authorizations and Covid 19-linked certificates – to just a few clicks.
The changes appear to have been welcomed by the general public as a step in the right direction, regardless of political stripe.
“I feel like I live in a European country,” 31-year-old Paschalis Athanasiadis told Kathimerini. “The digitalization of processes reduces bureaucracy, reduces corruption, saves time from things that took many hours of our lives for no reason,” he said, adding that he now has a digitized driving license and has made authorizations electronically, with a few clicks, without having to waste time waiting at a Citizens’ Service Center (KEP).
“It has untied our hands, everything is automatic,” says Konstantina Delaporta, a KEP employee. “We’ve saved a lot of time – there’s a huge difference between a customer waiting here for half an hour and getting served at home in five minutes,” she added.