Couriers of many tour operating companies had to spend Tuesday night near the new office of the Greek Consulate. They rushed to bring visa applications which were collected owing the move of the Consulate – on July 20th and 21st the Consulate did not accept documents and on July 25th the Consulate agents stopped accepting documents an hour earlier than usual.
Thus, Ekaterina Aizerman, General Director Deputy of Mondo-tours, commented: ’we could not apply for visas on Tuesday and had to spend the night queuing near the Consulate. Documents from Mondo-tours were accepted on July 26th at 11.30a.m. By that time around 50 companies had been waiting near the Consulate. Before the move of the Consulate the General Consul held a meeting with tour operating companies where he asked for ‘help’ – not to collect many visa applications. However, the Consulate did not work for three days that resulted into a big flow of visa applications which are to be processed until Friday’.
According to Greek.ru, on Tuesday documents from around 20 tour operating companies were not accepted by the Consulate.
Meanwhile, the majority of Russian tour operators do not consider the situation to be crisis. For example, Yury Khokhlov from Pantheon Travel Company said in the interview to a BANKO correspondent: ‘it was clear that if the consulate does not accept applications for three days, their number will exceed a daily ceiling. We were ready for such a situation. Therefore, we queued in a turn and did not have any problems. Moreover, we stopped sales in advance, phoned our clients and collected the documents. Yes, we had some losses but they can not compare to those we could have if visas had not been issued’.
Despite the fact that the Greek Consulate is considered to be “the fastest” in Moscow – visa application is processed during three days – Consulate agents recommend applying for visa two weeks before the departure date.
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