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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tsipras to meet with Archbishop Ieronymos - Govt says voters should know whether Tsipras is an atheist

 Tsipras - Archbishop Ieronymos

Alexis Tsipras will be received by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos in the afternoon, according to reports.

Tsipras’ meeting with the head of the Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece was arranged at the former’s request.

According to political analysts,  election victor SYRIZA wants to reaffirms its good relations with the Church, an image it has cultivated over the last few months.

 According to Greek state media voters deserve to know what the religious beliefs of the leader of the main opposition are, the government spokesman said on Monday, fuelling a row over whether Syriza's Alexis Tsipras believes in God or not.

On Sunday, New Democracy, the main party in the coalition, demanded to know whether Tsipras is an atheist, after Syriza's spokesman on religious affairs, Yiannis Amanatidis, said he was. 

"The Greek public must know what Mr Tsipras believes," said New Democracy in a lengthy statement on Sunday.
Claiming that Syriza intends to tax members of the Orthodox church to fund the institution, the statement added: "We hope his hostility to Orthodox Christians is not a result of Mr Tsipras being an atheist." 

   Archbishop Ieronymos – Tsipras: Fund for the victims 
of the crisis

In an interview the government spokesman, Simos Kedikoglou, added his call for Tsipras to reveal what he believes in the interests of voters.

"As government spokesman, I don't comment on party statements. But what I do have to say is that I believe that it is good for the public to know such information," he said. 

Another New Democracy MP, Fevronia Patrianakou, said she wanted to know what role Tsipras' beliefs have for his party's stance on church-state relations.

New Democracy was "playing the role of the inquisitor", said one Syriza MP, Theodoros Dritsas, who added that the conservative party was trying to distract people from the real problems facing them.



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