US chides Greece over biometric ID delays
20 September 2018 14:55 GMT

The US State Department has slammed Greece over delays in issuing new biometric identification cards.

In a new report, the State Department was critical of Greece's failure to curb illegal migration from its borders into other parts of the European Union by moving ahead with new ID cards that use biometrics to be more secure, reports Ekathimerini.

“It has not incorporated certain security features, such as a digitized photo and biometrics,” the report said, after referring to increased internal controls implemented by Germany in November 2017 on passengers coming from Greece, but also stepped up checks by Belgian border authorities.

“The porous nature of Greece’s borders remained a concern, particularly given the challenge the refugee and migration crisis presents in Greece. Six of the individuals responsible for the 2016 attacks in Paris and Brussels passed through Greece,” the report stressed.

On the issue of terrorist incidents, the State Department report pointed to a spate of letter bomb attacks carried out by the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire against targets in Greece and abroad that resulted in the serious injury of former prime minister Lucas Papademos in May 2017.