Crisis: Cyprus' Church "has lost 60% of its revenues"

30 August, 17:29

Archibishop Chrysostomos Archibishop Chrysostomos

(ANSAmed) - NICOSIA, AUGUST 30 - The Greek Orthodox Churh of Cyprus has lost 60% of its revenues from investments in banks and hotels, Archbishop Chrysostomos said yesterday, reiterating that pay cuts were necessary but no employees would be laid off.

"The Archbishopric had invested in banks, collecting around 9.5 million euros a year. It does not receive a single euro now," Chrysostomos said as reported by Cyprus Mail. Bishoprics and churches had also invested in the banking sector, which suffered heavy losses due to the write-down of Greek debt in 2011, the archbishop said. He added that the Church has also incurred losses from its hotel investments, despite the rise in tourism in the past two years. The archbishop repeated that the pay cuts will start from the top and then move onto the rank and file.

The Archbishopric and the Kykkos Monastery are the ones facing the biggest problems as they have the most staff. "When you don't have money, even if you don't want to cut salaries you are forced to do so because I consider it unacceptable to sack an employee," Chrysostomos said. "One can live with less but when they lose their job it will be very painful and we don't wish to reach this point." According to the archbishop, the Church is looking to cut the salaries of people who have secured their families, are on a pension, and their expenses are less than younger priests who have children to raise. The austerity measures are expected to be discussed by the Holy Synod on September 4. (ANSAmed).

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