Greeks love to snipe at red tape

Greece’s Ombudsman revealed yesterday that, among Europeans, Greeks are among the quickest to complain about the service they receive from public bodies, coming only second to Poles in the number of gripes they file with their respective citizen’s watchdog. Director Yiannis Kaminis said yesterday at the Thessaloniki International Fair that the Ombudsman had received some 70,000 complaints in its seven years of operation. A quarter of the gripes have been from people living in Macedonia. Kaminis said that 30 percent of the complaints he received were outside the jurisdiction of the citizen’s watchdog, while another 30 percent were groundless. The Ombudsman solved 80 percent of the complaints that it took on, he said. Local authorities, tax offices and social security funds topped the list of bodies that irked citizens most. The number of protests received by the watchdog has been boosted over the last two years by the specially created Children’s Ombudsman. Parents have filed more than 450 gripes, mostly about teachers or school conditions, Kaminis said.