Many Russian tourists who wanted to visit Greece during the Easter holidays and the first days of May, will be unable to do so due to the inability of the Greek consulate to respond to the high volume of applications for visa.
As the Russian tour operator “ATOR” says, the consulate is not staffed with additional people to respond to the high volume of work, a fact which is partially confirmed by a statement of the Greek consulate in Moscow, which according to an announcement, there will be choosing of additional staff with CV submissions until April 28.
On Friday there were large lines of Russian tourists at the Greek visa center, who waited more than eight hours to submit the necessary papers for visa issuance. The Consul General, Eleni Michalopoulou, apologized to the travel agencies for this situation, saying that all necessary actions to examine all applications will be done. However, even though the visa center worked on Friday, the consulate was closed, therefore, given the pubic holidays of the Holy Week, there are worries that many Russians will not receive their visa earlier than Holy Thursday.
The Consulate estimates that it can proceed 800 applications per day, therefore many applications will be examined after the Easter holidays. The high demand for Greece elevated in the past weeks, with many tour operators reporting a 40% augmentation in demand in comparison to the same period of past year.
The Greek Computer Centre of Moscow, responding to criticism that it received by tourist organizations, announced on April 23 that the “span of examination of the documents at the Consulate is augmenting,” without however, giving a specific time period.