Out with old ID cards but no rush for new

In an effort to avoid the rush caused when new passports were issued, the Public Order Ministry risked confusion yesterday by saying that anyone with old-style national identity cards would have to swap them for new ones but did not set a deadline for the changeover. In its statement, the ministry also said that anyone with an ID card that has only Greek characters and not Latin ones should change it for the newer-style card, otherwise they will not be able to travel abroad. However, fearing a repetition of the queues formed by people changing their passports over the last year, the ministry has not said by what date the old ID cards need to be changed. It also indicated that there would be no penalties for people who do not change them. The ministry added that the new IDs will be valid for 15 years rather than the present duration of 10 years.