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Greece extends digital ID obligation

Source: TKP.at, Thomas Oysmüller, 15 April 2024

The use of the eID is supposed to remain voluntary in the EU. However, Greece shows that without a digital ID, people could soon be confronted with restrictions in everyday life.

The EU Commission regularly declares that the digital ID will not be mandatory and that no one who does not want it will be discriminated against or marginalised. However, the opposite is already happening. In Austria, for example, there is already pressure from various quarters to adopt “ID Austria”, which also serves as an EU eID. The Greek government is now going one step further and switching to open coercion.


At the end of February, the EU Parliament adopted the Commission’s regulation on digital identity. On 26 March, the EU Council of Ministers gave its blessing. The regulation must now be published in the Official Journal. The Commission has 20 days to do this, which is just a few days away. The regulation on digital IDs in the EU will therefore soon come into force and the majority of EU citizens will be unaware of it.

This means that every member state is obliged to “offer” every citizen a “digital wallet”. A lot of sensitive data can be stored in the EU identity app – including people’s biometrics. Passports, driving licences, car registrations, school ID cards and vaccination certificates (to name just a few) will soon be able to be stored there. While the EU praises the eID as an achievement with no alternative that will simplify bureaucracy and services and make digital fraud more difficult, critics see it as a major step towards a digital prison. The app is also the necessary step towards a CO2 account or digital central bank money, which can then no longer be freely disposed of.

Ultimately, the digital identity system could encompass almost every aspect of our lives: Health (including “vaccinations”), money (or digital central bank money), communication, consumption, work, leisure. The WEF graphic shows this particularly clearly:

The possibilities for surveillance know no bounds.

So much for the introduction. Regular TKP readers are well aware of all this. But what Greece is doing now is new (but hardly surprising).

Since 9 April, a Greek “digital wallet”, the “Gov.gr.Wallet”, has been required to gain access to football stadiums. The Greek government reports:

Based on the joint ministerial decision of Deputy Minister of Sports Yiannis Vroutsis and Minister of Digital Administration Dimitris Papastergiou, the new way of entering stadiums with the Gov.gr Wallet ticket will come into force from 9 April 2024.

However, at the request of the sports federations and clubs, it will be possible to enter the stadiums until the end of the current season both in the way it was before 9 April and with the ticket in Gov.gr Wallet, in order to ensure adequate preparation and to give fans the necessary adaptation time.

So anyone who refuses the Greek eID will be excluded from major sporting events in future. So much for the EU Commission’s assurances that no-one who does not want an eID will be discriminated against. Yet the Commission had only recently stated that provisions had been enforced in the digital ID law “that protect citizens’ rights and promote an inclusive digital system by avoiding discrimination against those who choose not to use the digital wallet”.

But Greece should not expect a rebuke. On the contrary, the Greek mainstream reports that the introduction of the digital ID for access to stadiums is seen as a way to expand the use of the application. According to the Greek Ministry of Digital Administration, 1,877,032 people have so far downloaded the digital identity wallet since its launch in July 2022. This corresponds to around 17% of the population.

Not enough, according to the Greek government. Extending the digital ID to stadiums is just one step in bringing the digital ID further among the people. It is unlikely that this “measure” will not also be used outside Greece.

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