French President Emmanuel Macron coined a phrase named his party “Republic on the Move”, and it was adopted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who understood that the only way to change the country and to begin transcending its dysfunctions is to have constant movement at all levels – economic, educational, social and national.
Everything is in flux as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously declared, and that was always the way of the world.
The field in which we have seen the first impressive results of this constant motion and which signals the success of the current government is that of the digital transformation of the civil service. Due to the tireless efforts of the digital governance minister and his associates, the monster of bureaucracy has lost much of its power.
The relationship of citizens and businesses with the state has been simplified, the inter-connection of ministries has been modernised, and the cost of supporting a monstrous bureaucracy has been reduced.
The latest example is the institution of a “personal number”, which will replace a host of other numbers we must remember in our transactions.
The odd thing about all this is that in the revolution of simplifying everyday life, the national vaccine rollout played a catalytic role. It was the first major exercise in identifying citizens and residents of the country with data from various registries.
That proves firstly the Greek saying that there is no ill devoid of some good and that microchips, that have become notorious because they have stirred fear in a segment of the Greek public, are used in democratic countries to protect and serve citizens and not in order to control them.
No one has now invented the wheel, and for every reform there is always a precedent that one can study.
A personal number in transactions with the public sector has been instituted not only in ground-breaking Estonia but also in our neighbouring Bulgaria.
Greece never lacked ideas. It lacked the political will to implemented.
At long last, that seems to be changing.