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Monday, November 25, 2013

Greek Church Out of Financial and Economic Crime Unit Jurisdiction

 

The fund of the Greek Orthodox Church is out of S.D.O.E.’s (Financial and Economic Crime Unit) jurisdiction. The S.D.O.E will have access to the church fund only if the minister of finance gives such an order.

Even if there are charges against the church or there is an order by a financial public service for the churches financial control, the minister himself is the only person that can authorize a S.D.O.E.’s control in the “holy business” of the church.

All church institutions, with an amendment of law, will be exempt from the management audit of any of Greece’s financial service. In fact, it is clarified that only after a common decision by the Greek Minister of Finance and the  Greek Minister of Education and Religious affairs, any financial service would be able to carry out a management audit to any church institution.

In a period that all Greeks have to pay a lot of taxes in order to help the country’s economy strive after years of recession, this decision will certainly cause many reactions. Church funds are a taboo in Greece. Its income is liable to taxation, but there are two major obstacles. There is no accounting system to detail its actual income and no one really knows exactly how much land it owns because there is no land register. This situation suits both the church and the state, because politicians are reluctant to upset the Orthodox authorities.

Priests and Monks out of the availability scheme according to troika

According to the newspaper “I Efimerida Ton Syntakton,” troika leaves priests and monks of Greece, out of the availability measure. The Greek government, with an amendment of law, will exempt priests and monks from the availability measure. That means that special criteria will be preserved on the evaluation process and thus priests and monks will be excluded from the availability and mobility scheme.

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