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SYRIZA Wants State Break With Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.pravmir.com/syriza-wants-state-break-with-church/ SYRIZA Wants State Break With Church Jan 28th, 2013 A proposal by a Member of Parliament from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2013
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      http://www.pravmir.com/syriza-wants-state-break-with-church/

      SYRIZA Wants State Break With Church
      Jan 28th, 2013

      A proposal by a Member of Parliament from the major opposition Coalition
      of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party for separation from the government
      with the Greek Orthodox Church – and a tax on those who declare
      themselves to be Orthodox Christians – has prompted an angry response
      from the ruling New Democracy Conservatives.

      Speaking at a conference organized by the theology department at
      Aristotle University, SYRIZA lawmaker Tasos Kourakis spoke in favor of a
      separation of the Church of Greece and the state with the church funding
      itself rather than via state coffers.

      Kourakis added that another option would be to impose a church tax on
      all Greeks who declare themselves to be Christian Orthodox. The MP said
      the revenues raised could be used to cover church costs and clerics’
      salaries. Similar taxes apply in other European countries, including
      Germany.

      New Democracy issued a statement condemning Kourakis and SYRIZA,
      likening the proposal to “Stalinist measures” and arguing that it would
      be unconstitutional as it would discriminate between Greeks based on
      their religious beliefs. As many as 96 percent of Greeks have reportedly
      said they are Orthodox believers. The government pays the salaries of
      priests and the church has been fighting attempts to impose more taxes
      on the institution during the country’s crushing economic crisis.

      SYRIZA opposes the terms of bailout conditions that have kept the
      economy from collapsing but imposed big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed
      pensions. The party is a motley collection of Communists, a doctrine
      that forbid religious worship, as well as other far-Leftist elements
      that include some who declared themselves to have anarchist backgrounds.

      While SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has been in the U.S. on a tour to
      convince skeptics that his party is not extremists, his lawmakers have
      been increasingly speaking out against the coalition government, with
      New Democracy claiming the Leftists want to bring down the government
      and are fostering political violence.
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