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Society

Greece’s Church Says Priests Should Keep State Jobs

November 17, 2018

ATHENS (AP) — Greece’s powerful Orthodox Church says it wants priests to remain civil servants, rejecting part of a recent government offer to switch a payroll system for clergymen.

The church’s governing Holy Synod said Friday that it had voted unanimously “to retain the existing payroll status of the clergy and laymen of the Church of Greece.”

Earlier this month, left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on the church to back a series of government proposed reforms aimed at settling decades-old property disputes and moving priests off the state payroll to a separate publicly-funded structure.

Tsipras later said the move would free up 10,000 new positions in the public sector amid hiring restrictions that remain in place after the country’s international bailouts.

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