THE EUROPEAN Commission says that issuing new passports without biometric data is a wasted investment, according to the daily Pravda.
Spokesperson for the commission Friso Roscam Abbing confirmed to reporters that Slovakia could have saved hundreds of millions of crowns.
"It would be unfortunate if any of the EU member states, including Slovakia, started to issue new passports, which do not contain the biometric symbols: Or, if it wouldn't be possible to add these symbols to those passports later on," said Roscam Abbing.
New passports that will be available to Slovak citizens between 2004 and 2008 do not contain the biometric symbols. This is at a cost to the taxpayer of more than Sk2 billion (€50.9 million).
The Interior Ministry said that introducing biometric symbols into passports would require further investment, but as yet the ministry is unable to say how much money it would require.
Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. Apr 2005 at 11:18