ATHENS – Greece’s atheist Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, after being cozy with religious officials, again said it’s time for separation of Church and State and that religious neutrality should be part of the country’s Constitution.
Talking to a general assembly of his party, Tsipras unveiled his plans to reform the constitution to break the close relationship, the Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah said. “It is time to take more radical and more out-of-the-box steps at a time when the country is turning a new page,” he added.
“I assume the state, the political world, the citizens, the church and believers have all reached the maturity that would lead them to logic and sensitivity to accept the rationalization of these relations,” Tsipras said, the paper reported.
“We wish for a new framework that would determine the roles of both the church and the state. It is time for a clear indication of the religious neutrality of the Greek state within the constitution,” he went on to say.
Article 3 of the Greek constitution defines the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ as the “prevailing religion in Greece,” in addition to defining its relations with the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul, the highest authority in the Orthodox world.
With polls showing he has plummeted after reneging on anti-austerity promises, he’s trying to cause a divide in the major rival New Democracy Conservatives, said Kathimerini.