Home Government and Policy Greece takes Church priests off government payroll, ends their 'civil-servant' status

Greece takes Church priests off government payroll, ends their ‘civil-servant’ status

Greece spends 200 million Euros annually on the salaries of priests and church staff. Creditors of the debt-ridden country have been insisting on a reduction of people under government payroll.

According to reports, the government of Greece, in a decision taken on Tuesday has caused a remarkable shift in the status of the clergies, thereby creating a separation between the Church and the State.

The Greek Orthodox Church is considered as the official religion of the State under the constitution. The importance of the church can be understood from the fact that the leaders who took oath as ministers first used to go to church and take a traditional oath.

The decision will take around 10,000 priests and the auxiliary staff off the payroll. According to the deal made between the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras and the Archbishop Ieronymos of the Church of Greece, the state will in the future transfer an annual state subsidy to a special church fund for the payment of priests’ salaries. The fund will be managed by a five-member board. Two members of the Fund will be appointed by the Church of Greece, two members appointed by the Greek Government and one member appointed jointly.

- Ad - - article resumes -

According to the government spokesman Dimitris Janakopolos, posts of 10 thousand civil Servants will be vacated as a result of the decision. Pastors are not bureaucrats, they are given only this status. But they are treated as civil servants and they get a lot of facilities.

The decision was taken by a mutual agreement between the Church and the government. PM Alexis Tsipras announced the decision on Tuesday saying that the aim of these decisions was to make the Church self-reliant and to deal with the historic disagreements that have long hindered the functioning. “It solves many decades of outstanding issues that have arisen since the 1920s, but mainly because it is an Agreement for the benefit of both sides,” he said.

“The Greek State undertakes to pay annually to the Church in the form of a subsidy an amount corresponding to the current salary cost of the active priests, which will be adjusted according to the salary changes of the Greek State”, he added.

As per reports, this move is aimed at making the Europian nation religion-neutral, which has been supported by the ruling Syriza party.

The Church is one of the country’s largest real estate owners. The annual cost of the priests on the government’s payroll is estimated at about 200 million euros. Greece’s creditors have reportedly long insisted the government sell assets and reduce the number of public sector employees. Under the current system, priests’ salaries are paid directly from the state budget like all civil servants.

However, the agreement is yet to be approved by the cabinet, parliament and church leaders. Meanwhile, a group representing the priests has shown resistance towards the decision.”We will struggle to ensure the present status is maintained,” Father Georgios Sellis, head of the association of Greek priests, reportedly told the Greek media.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

India has successfully launched its second mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan-2.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Sushma Swaraj shuts down trolls

Former EAM Sushma Swaraj shuts down a troll, Irfan Khan, who wishes death upon her

Sushma Swaraj was condoling death of former Delhi BJP President when troll insinuated that she too will die soon.

Omar Abdullah comes in support of Imran Khan who was not given official welcome on arrival in US

Khan's humiliation seems to have affected former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah who sprung to his defence

Netizens ‘express concern’ over Priyanka Chopra’s asthma after a picture where she is smoking cigarette went viral on social media

Twitter users even dug up Chopra's own old tweet condemning smoking where she had claimed she does not smoke. While things could change with time so do personal preferences, the hypocrisy is quite baffling.
Islamic extremism

Two youths, Shekhar and Basant forced to chant religious slogans by a mob that showed them Tabrez Ansari’s video, stabbed when refused

As Shekhar and Basant refused to raise religious slogans, the angry men reportedly stabbed them with knives.

Mangalore: Mohammad Ansari rapes a cow by tying its limbs, villagers catch him in the act, arrested

The villagers also made Ansari touch cow’s feet and ask for forgiveness for raping her. However, when Ansari approached the calf, the animal freaked out and started running.

Mangaluru villagers caught Mohammad Ansari raping a calf, police arrests villagers for ‘hurting religious beliefs’

In the Kunjathbail village in Mangaluru, Mohammad Ansari was caught red-handed by the villagers while he was raping a calf.

Here are 15 famous quotes from Harsha Bhogle during his commentary stint

The famous Indian commentator, Harsha Bhogle, born on July 19 in Hyderabad is celebrating his 58th birthday today.

Class nine student beaten by senior students for protesting ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ during National Anthem singing in school

When a Hindu student protested allah hu akbar chants during national anthem in school, he was badly thrashed by Muslim students
Couple forced out of village; husband pressurised to accept wife’s religion

Hindu boy’s family forced out of village for marrying Muslim girl, police advices boy to convert as villagers threaten to kill

Newlywed Hindu boy and Muslim girl approach SSP for protection as villagers threaten to kill them and local police ask the boy to convert

US snubs Pak PM Imran Khan, welcomed by low-key US officials on his maiden visit, escorted to the terminal in a bus

No Limo for Pak PM as he arrives in the US on his maiden visit, takes a bus to the terminal from the aircraft.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,708FansLike
159,996FollowersFollow
74,913SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post