“We are now on a trajectory where both as a state and as a Greek state we have established that the value of technology has a very important dimension. Digital policy is a social policy” pointed out the Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis as part of the “Economist Technology and Innovation in 2023 and beyond Gala Dinner” event held this afternoon at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. As he characteristically mentioned, the main goal is to improve the service provided by the state to citizens and businesses. “For the first time an extremely ambitious goal has been set, let’s count how many of these procedures there are in total” the minister emphasized and underlined that gov.gr exceeded 1,500 services, while through the MITOS program it was recorded that there are approximately 5,500 procedures between states with the citizen, state with business. “Now, it is established that the goal that the state can improve and digitize process by process is achievable. And it is a goal that we all want to achieve, regardless of which political party we are in. Everyone is asking for the reduction of bureaucracy”.

He spoke about the financing of the Recovery Fund, “it allows us to cover the entire gap, it covers all of our needs and it also enters the realm of the desired.”

Referring to telecommunications, he said that “we continue to be at the back of fixed telephony, however providers are filling this gap, we have 1.3 million Fiber to the home lines with the aim of reaching 4.8 million”. In fact, he pointed out that “a very important world is emerging in front of us in which we want to participate with optimism, ambition and faith in the potential of the Greek human potential”. As he characteristically said “technology runs, it is the catalyst of innovation, technological change is the catalyst of innovation”.

In fact, Mr. Pierrakakis emphasized that “we learn from many, but reforms are like transplants, you must have adapted what you want to your own context”.

Referring to data protection issues, he emphasized that “the European Union is a global power at the regulatory level. We must always try to minimize the risks and maximize the social benefits of using technology.” In conclusion, the minister mentioned as the most successful actions of the ministry, gov.gr (since “all the services we developed are part of this single digital portal, which will become the only point of contact for citizens and businesses with the state”) the auction of the 5G spectrum, the FAISTOS fund, but above all “that we can reduce bureaucracy”. At the same time he spoke about immaterial prescription and myHealth, where every citizen has access to his own medical data – but also the availability of open data.

“How I Inspired the Hashtag”

On his part, Mr Chris Messina, the initiator of the hashtag, invoking the myth of Prometheus who defied the gods and stole fire, giving it to humanity to create civilization, spoke about technology, saying characteristically that “Prometheus came back to the planet and made it possible for us to communicate with each other through the Internet”, which even characterized it as a power that anyone can enjoy, have. “People can connect and communicate instantly, with anyone on the planet. Now we are inventing our own technogods.”

Mr. Messina elaborated on how he was inspired and created the hashtag: “My proposal for the hashtag had to be both smart and realistic, easy for someone to learn.

In 2007, a friend of mine used twitter to talk about the fires in California.” From then on, the course of the hashtag was very successful, it was adopted by many. “It was a gift that could be used and distributed to everyone and is now part of our communication. I believe we need to learn about emerging new technologies.” He even emphasized that “the internet has changed the ability to access information, to see, to communicate”. He even spoke about the role of the gatekeepers of the internet saying that “they are the ones who allow you to interact with others without tensions leading to conflict. Information travels so quickly without the context of the original creator, which probably leads to tensions rather than anything productive.”