Problems for Cypriot ID Travellers

passportcontrolMany of us have been asked to come in and change our ID cards from the old yellow ones to the cool new blue ones. So we did, and assumed we could use them as usual. But this is not the case, as we found out, twice in one weekend.

Most times when we travel, we carry our passports with us, ‘just in case’ we may need them. Well going to Barcelona this weekend to… erm… ‘research the nightlife and clubbing culture’, we decided not to take our passports knowing the notorious reputation of the Barcelona pick-pockets.

This seems like a fairly simple process, being European Citizens, we are technically allowed to travel between the EU member states on our ID cards alone. Arriving on Friday night at the Girona airport near Barcelona, we were greeted by very confused and suspicious faces as we handed over our lovely new blue ID cards.

After several scans and the continuously calling of somebody with a higher rank for a while, we were eventually allowed to pass through. Not understanding Spanish didn’t really help us understand what seemed to be causing the confusion. We just laughed it off as a Cypriot-inspired confusion or the lack of Cypriots passing through that actual airport.

Leaving from Barcelona, we had to fly to Liverpool to continue our journey into England. Arriving at the border post again, we didn’t even think that there would be a problem here. But where we surprised when we were quickly interrogated on our history, the reasons for entering the UK, how we received Cypriot citizenship and so forth… Now this we found weird, so being an English speaking country we asked more questions and got more answers.

The reason why they keep stopping us, and other Cypriot travelers, is the quality of our lovely new blue cards which have many logistical problems including :

  • They are not computer scan-able.
  • They are ‘easily copied, changed and used by fraudsters’. (We had assumed this)
  • Our Grafeia Politis had not even put the EU hologram over our photos to prove authenticity.
  • Not to mention they are not beautiful enough to do justice of our beautiful island.

As for the last point, I know it may sound a bit adolescent, but seriously… even the old yellow cards looked more like ID cards then these do.

So my questions to all of you are… Have you had trouble passing through borders in our lovely European Union using only your ID cards?

And, what is our lovely government going to do about this embarrassing problem?

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