Public services to open, close later

Pursuant to poll results released yesterday confirming that most Greeks have a gripe against public services, the government has proposed changes in the operating hours of civil service offices as a means of providing better services to residents. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that the government will propose to civil servants union ADEDY that the times state offices are open for business should be altered. «The purpose is to ensure the improvement of public services and to help citizens,» Pavlopoulos said after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. «It will also help improve communication with the European Union’s public services,» he added. The government’s proposal will involve opening public offices from 8 a.m. or 8.30 a.m. – later than the current 7 a.m. or 7.30 a.m. starting times – until 3.30 in the summer and 4 p.m. in the winter. The change could take effect at the start of next year. Pavlopoulos added that the new hours will help citizens take care of their dealings with the state without taking time off from work. A poll released by ADEDY yesterday showed once again that most Greeks are not content with the quality of the service offered by public employees. According to ADEDY, most people blame the poor quality of services on the country’s legal framework rather than on the employees themselves. Additionally, about a third of those questioned fingered the country’s political leaders as a reason why corruption exists in the public service.