Secretary General of the National tourism organization of Greece Dimitris Trifonopoulos reported that delays in issuing visas are associated with the need to submit biometric data.
“The introduction of biometrics and slows down the process of applying for a visa, but not only for Greece but for any country of the Schengen area. This led to the fact that we have slowed down the issuance of visas, but not for long”, he explained “RIA Novosti”. According to him, the Greek foreign Ministry promised to correct this situation and send DOPOLNITELNIY staff.
From 14 September last year for a Schengen visa, Russians have to be fingerprinted. The introduction of the procedure of fingerprinting due to the fact that Russia is connected to the visa information system of the European Union.
Trifonopoulos also said that representatives of the Russian tour operators have not yet been contacted by the Greek authorities on issues of compensation for the disruption of tours due to delays in the issuance of Schengen visas.
“To date, none of the Russian tourist firms have not turned to the Greek colleagues for some compensation for the fact that their tourists do not go,” he said. Thus, according to him, with operators constantly maintained communications. Trifonopoulos reported that in Greece have already arrived representatives of the Russian tourist industry. “We hope that it will be possible to do something”, he added.
Before the press Secretary of the Russian Union of travel industry (PCT) Irina Tyurina told about the first breakdowns of trips of Russian tourists in connection with the situation with visa issuing by the Greek Consulate. According to her, on Wednesday, at least two dozen clients of various tour operators on Wednesday could not fly to Greece.
“Each operator on the next date at the Consulate hovered several hundred passports. And there is no guarantee that all visas will have time to issue, — said Turina. She expressed the view that in order to go on vacation all the tourists, the Consulate needs to “clear the debris” all may holidays.
About the gathering of more than 10 thousand passports of Russians in the Greek Consulate became known last week. At the visa center of Greece on Friday lined the long queue, the waiting time which was up to five hours.