One of the major dysfunctions of the Greek state is the quality of public sector services.

They are intertwined with the country’s system of political patronage that determined their character early on, and instead of serving citizens they simply produced a huge bureaucracy.

Waiting on long queues to be served and arrange their affairs was a tortuous experience for citizens.

Greece’s bankruptcy worsened the operation of basic services, including those responsible for the paperwork for citizens, usually after major delays, to receive their pensions.

A great reform was necessary but seemed unfeasible.

That was until PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis (photo), using new technologies, and with the help of a few associates at a very low cost, circumvented bureaucratic structures and relatively quickly created a “new state”, with digitised services, the streamlining of procedures, and new networks.

These new structures were tested during the pandemic – with the COVID-19 vaccination appointments platform, the digital issuance of vax and illness certificates, and the reporting of test results - and proved durable.

With those achievements as a foundation, we are entering a new stage with the availability of police IDs and driver’s licenses on cell phones.

It is obvious that digital governance can become the first comprehensive effort to modernise the state.

Clearly, there is much yet to be done, but this is the first time that citizens to not fearfully confront their interactions with the state.

That speaks volumes about what has been done and what remains to be accomplished.

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