Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Monday with a delegation of the Holy Synod of the Church of Crete. According to a party announcement the two sides discussed recent developments in Church-State relations and mostly the agreement announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos.
The same sources said that Mitsotakis told the delegation that he totally understands that they were taken by surprise and the outrage in the church over the announcement. “He informed them that he had no prior knowledge of the agreement and, of course, about the changes in the clergy’s payroll. He called the agreement ‘another of Mr. Tsipras’ PR gimmicks’ since it was shown that he was interested in was to announce the hiring of 10,000 in the public sector,” they said. Mitsotakis also clarified that ND, as next government, will not recognise any changes unilaterally imposed by the government and restore the existing salary arrangement.
However, Mitsotakis said that there are issues in the State and Church’s relations that should be settled, noting that this can be done through dialogue without revising the Constitution.
Finally he said that ND is in favour of making use of the Church’s wealth but only to support its social mission.