Gripes about state services up by a third

The financial crisis has aggravated chronic problems in state services, according to the Ombudsman which said that complaints lodged by citizens – chiefly regarding the health service and the social security system – increased by more than a third last year. A total of 13,433 people submitted complaints to the watchdog last year, up 36 percent from 2008 and the highest number since the institution was founded in 1997. «Client-patron relations, corruption and a lack of transparency are harming social cohesion and holding the country back,» Ombudsman Giorgos Kaminis said. According to Kaminis, many of the complaints relate to bureaucratic procedures and understaffing of insurance funds. Another popular gripe is about the health service with thousands expressing exasperation over red tape and lack of organization.

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