The Greek Government is insisting on a stronger contract so that the Orthodox State Church and also the Athos Monasteries can reach their savings goals.
Athens (kath.net/KAP) With a sharp note of protest, the Parliament will finalize a decision by Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou to withdraw the tax privileges of the Athenite Monastery, the Synaxis. This touches upon a Monastic property, which lies outside of the peninsula of Athos. Observers have predicted that this will further alienate Athos from legislation at Athens. So, earlier, the Ministry for Northern Greece in Thessaloniki took over control of the Pilgrimage Bureau to the Holy Mountain of Orthodoxy from the Monastic Republic.
The Greek Government insisted on a stronger contract so that the Orthodox National Church as well as the Monastery of Athos can stay within their budget, in order to save the nation from impending bankruptcy. The State Church is the largest land owner in the country; they were among other things, implicated in a large real-estate scandal. Unrecognized for self-determination and special status in the EU, the Monastic Republic of the "Holy Mountain of Athos" is subordinated to the Greek Department of Finance. According to the conclusion of the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire over Greece in the Peace of Lausanne in 1923, Athens protected Athos under different exemptions from duties and taxes.
Till now the Cloister of Athos has enjoyed a tax exemption. They occupy a large part of their income from real-estate in Greece outside of the Monastic Free State. There are very expensive inner-Athens properties managed by the Monastic Foundation.
Read at kath.net...