The protesters insist that the document is a tool to control citizens.
More than 3,000 people are marching through Thessaloniki, northern Greece, to protest against the new ID card, police said.
In front of the city’s emblematic White Tower, protesters sang the national anthem and chanted slogans against the card, which will be introduced at the end of September. The protesters, mostly members of the Orthodox Church, are convinced that this document is a tool to control society.
Anastasios Theodoridis, one of the protesters, says: “We will become an Orwellian society. There will be a big giant digital archive, with personal data, our private life, our medical history, our work life, everything. You will go somewhere and they will take you out the entire file. This is unacceptable to me.”
“It will contain the Social Security Number, the VAT number and (the law) includes another clever measure: the Government will be able to add, for digital governance needs, whatever it wants. But we will not be able to read them on the identity document that we have” , declares Ionannis Papazisis.
The priest Photios considers that the identity card is a seal. “We are against the seal of the antichrist. We are against the system of the antichrist, against the measures of the antichrist,” says the cleric.
Another protester says: “They are trying to impose through biometric digital identity the absolute slavery of the human species, so to speak, and absolute control, big brother in a nutshell, that is why we are here today.”
The identity document, which complies with the European standard, has two new features: it is machine-readable and it includes the option to add the blood group.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave a strong statement to put an end to all conspiracy theories.
“I will not talk in detail here about the fake news that some circulate. I consider that they are a very small minority of Greek society. Identity documents do not contain chips, cameras, or microphones. Let citizens not become victims of mockery,” the prime minister made clear.
The religious connections of the protesters pose a problem for the Church of Greece, with some bishops promoting the protests.
The Archbishop of Athens, Theodoros Kontidis, has said that the Holy Synod, the governing body of the Orthodox Church, will issue a statement on the cards in a few days and has advised “sensibility and prudence.”
Still, a protest rally will be held next weekend in the capital, Athens.