Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias and Interior Minister Panos Kouroublis have announced the launch of an initiative, titled Proxenos, that will allow Greeks living abroad to apply for official certificates and documents from the country’s consular services online.
Proxenos, which stands for the Greek word for consul, has started operating in pilot mode at the Greek Consulate in Dusseldorf, offering Greeks worldwide the opportunity to get hold of birth, marriage and death certificates, as well as other official documentation from their nearest consulate, accessing central public records databases. Dusseldorf’s feedback during the first week’s trial will help improve the service before it is expanded to other countries.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias also announced plans to digitise the ministry’s history archive and to update its translation service, cutting time spent searching for paperwork and additional expenses for the state as well as citizens.
“This is a jump in the quality of services offered by Greece’s consular services throughout the world, facilitating the lives of Greek expatriates,” Kotzias said during a joint press conference last Friday.
“Greeks will be able to receive certificates of birth and marital status online, thus cutting time spent searching for such paperwork in Greece and saving money for the state.”
Interior Minister Panos Kouroublis also said that the ministry will complete a program of 15 more database connections during the year.
“This connection with the database is the second achieved by the interior ministry, with the first one connecting with a database of the education ministry.
“This program will bring the diaspora closer to Greece, by showing the country cares and sends them a message of hope and optimism,” Kouroublis concluded.