Government says that more than 85 percent of Greeks have yet to file applications for new passports. The deadline runs out at the end of this year. To handle the expected barrage of applications, the country’s public order ministry said it would place more personnel at police stations, which accept applications for new passports, as of this month.
Police officials said they are expecting a sharp increase in the number of applications for new passports this month because only 355,000 of the new European Union-approved travel documents have been issued since the beginning of the year. The old passports -some 4 million Greeks have passports- will not be valid from the beginning of next year.
There are currently 98 police stations across Greece that can accept applications, which are then processed at the central passport office, operated by the Greek Police in Kaisariani, eastern Athens.
Due to the rising demand for new passports, the ministry said that it would also open three new facilities to accept applications: at police stations in Zografou, Palaio Faliron and Galatsi. All the application centers are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
If there is a huge rush of applications in September, authorities said they would even consider extending the opening hours to midnight.