Citizens’ cards by end of 2011

A new «citizens’ card» aimed at facilitating everyday transactions with the public sector is to replace the police identification card by the end of next year, Kathimerini has learned. Citizens will be able to use the card in their dealings with most public services, including tax offices, local authorities, ministries and social security funds without having to lug along folders full of documents. The card will allow public service officials to access an electronic file with all the citizen’s transactions. However, after protests by the Church of Greece and various organizations, the card will not bear a bar code, nor will it feature sensitive personal details such as the holder’s social security number (AMKA) or tax registration number (AFM). The new card, which will be the same size and shape as a credit card, will also function as a passport for travel within the Schengen zone.