E-services aimed at cutting red tape

A new online payment system set to be introduced by the Administrative Reform Ministry promises to put an end to long queues at banks and tax offices.

Instead of having to go to a bank or tax office to pay the administrative fee (“paravolo”) required for a range of purposes such as starting a business, obtaining a marriage license or getting a new passport, citizens will be able to simply log on to a government website and pay by credit card or web banking.

“Our key aim is to serve citizens electronically… minimizing the need for them to actually visit the various state departments in person,” Manousos Voloudakis, alternate minister for administrative reform and e-governance, told Kathimerini.

“Priority has been given to digitalizing procedures connected to starting a profession or opening a business that have until now been stymied by bureaucratic delays,” said Voloudakis, adding that the system is likely to start operating by the end of February.

Electronic payments will be conducted via the soon-to-be-revamped Ermis portal.

The ministry is currently taking steps to make all state services available on the Internet.

Cash-strapped Greece is under pressure from its international creditors to curb its notorious red tape, long considered a key obstacle to growth.

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