Greece last in the digital "class"

Kyriakos Pierrakakis

Kyriakos Pierrakakis

Greece's Digital Governance Minister, Kyriakos Pierrakakis noted that the country lagged far behind in all digital indicators in the European Union, making it difficult but also essential to achieve a successful transition to digital state services.

Pierrakakis made the comments during the inauguration of the 'Digital Greece' pavilion at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) over the weekend.

"We have set a very ambitious target, which is to converge with the EU average within the government's term. We know the steps that are needed to achieve this and we have the high-level political intention to achieve this," the minister said.

Pierrakakis also referred to the need for a new production model and said that one of the "good stories" of the Greek crisis was the creation of an emerging innovation ecosystem of new enterprises and startups. In addition to the digital transformation of the state sector, one of the ministry's goals was to invest in such startups and help them grow, so they can act as a catalyst for changing the production model in Greece, he said.

With respect to digital governance, Pierrakakis said the first target was to achieve interoperability of state records, with different agencies able to 'talk' to each other and share information, in order to provide citizens with quality services and minimise inconvenience for the public.

He warned, however, that eliminating queues will not happen overnight, noting that it took Estonia, which is 99 pct digital, over a decade to reach this point.