Passport chaos, Piantedosi: “Explosion of requests with the resumption of travel after Covid, we are working to resolve”

Passport chaos, Piantedosi: “Explosion of requests with the resumption of travel after Covid, we are working to resolve”

On the issue of the slow issue of passports «we are working. After the Covid there was aexplosion of requests with travel resuming: 1.8 million were released in 2022. We focus on extraordinary openings, intensification of appointments and better performing workstations. I am confident that in the next few weeks we will have a lightening of the load». Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said this on the Tg4 program “Diario del giorno” on Rete 4.

“Passports are issued by the police headquarters and these administrative duties also burden the police system”. And on the release times he added that «in 2022 they were released 1 million 816 thousand passports, more than 150 thousand a month». The goal is to recover: “We are organizing ourselves with extraordinary openings and intensification of appointments”, continued the minister.

The long delays in issuing passports also have repercussions on the travel sector. «From discomfort for citizens to damage for tourism businesses. The passport bottleneck has blown up to date about 80,000 organized trips, with about 150 million euros in lost sales for the Italian travel agency system». This is what emerges from a survey conducted on travel agencies by Assoviaggi, the Confesercenti organized tourism association. Almost none of the agencies, it is highlighted, was saved: 96.5% report problems and have seen the time necessary to be able to make an appointment to issue a passport in their own province rise from just over two weeks to over five . A chaos that has led to cancellations and missed bookings or postponements to a later date by travellers: 39.7% of companies report having seen up to 10 individual or group trips vanish, 46.1% between 10 and 30; but there is also 10.6%, who report that they have lost over 30. Overall, an average of 7 per agency have been lost, for around 13 thousand euros in sales not made.

«In the first place, it is a disservice to citizenship: the passport is not only used to go on vacation, but also for family reunification, work, for children who do not have one. In short, it is not only a matter of business, but also of the right to freedom of movement outside the European borders. However, it is undeniable that the problem also has a serious impact on the world of organized tourism, precisely in the year of the restart after the long stop imposed by the pandemic where Italy was the last country in Europe to lift travel restrictions ” , comments the national president of Assoviaggi Gianni Rebecchi.

«The reasons for the current chaos – he adds – are the sum of new requests and those back due to Covid. Now, however, we need to find a solution that cannot be Open Days, which inevitably turn into new traffic jams. We need to speed up the technological investments of the public administration: we need more IT efficiency which in the case of personal documents must follow the example of the digital national registry, the main road to improving services to citizens in a European country”.

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