ND welcomes State-Church agreement

Main opposition New Democracy welcomed what it said was a delayed adoption by Syriza of its own stance on Church-State relations revealed at a joint press conference by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Tuesday evening.

“What was soundly proven today was that outstanding issues in relations between the two sides do not need a constitutional revision, but could just as well be resolved with legal initiatives,” the party said in a statement.

It added that this initiative had begun by the ND government in 2013, when it proposed a joint State-Church company to develop Church property, “the creation of which Syriza thwarted for obsessive ideological reasons.”

The party “hopes the agreement announced today proves to be substantially beneficial to the State and the Church” and not end at the issue of taking priests off the state payroll.