Cyprus church may lose €100m in bailout

2013-03-25 22:40
Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II speaks to the media outside Presidential Palace. (Petros Giannakouris, AP)

Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II speaks to the media outside Presidential Palace. (Petros Giannakouris, AP)

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Nicosia - Cyprus's wealthy Orthodox Church stands to lose more than €100m in the bailout deal reached with international creditors early on Monday, its leader Archbishop Chrysostomos said.

"The capital owned by the church, which was over €100m, has been lost," the archbishop told reporters.

"There will be many difficulties, some will lose their jobs, the hungry will be multiplied and the church has to take care of people," he added.

The church has substantial shareholdings on the island, including in the banks at the centre of the drastic financial sector cuts imposed by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition for releasing €10bn in emergency loans.

The church's interests range from hotels to brewers, and it is also the island's biggest landowner.

Last September, as the financial crisis bit, the church cut salaries of bishops and most priests by 15 to 25% but spared those who received €1 500 or less in monthly salaries.

Read more on:    imf  |  eu  |  cyprus  |  economy  |  religion

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