New centers for passports

As of January next year, Greeks will have to head to one of the 90 new centers around the country which will be set up under the auspices of the police to obtain or renew their passports, as part of a drive to tighten security, the government said yesterday. The reception centers, as they have been named, will be set up in each prefectural police headquarters, although Attica will have more than one. Another 200 will be established at Greek consulates and embassies abroad. The government decided not to go ahead with plans to allow citizens’ information and service centers (KEP) to issue passports as well. Currently, prefectures and travel agents are able to supply citizens with passports but authorities want to provide a more fail-safe system that is not open to abuse and possible criminal activity. The move comes as Greece is set to receive its first batch of up to 500,000 new high-tech biometric passports at the beginning of next year, as part of the government’s drive to fall in line with EU and worldwide anti-terrorism measures.

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