Out of all the people who owe Greece money, the Greek Orthodox Church may owe Greece the most. It is well-known that the Greek Church is one of the wealthiest institutions in Greece, thanks to its owning a huge amount of land from which it collects rent from. In 2008 the Church made 20 million Euros, according to a Reuters article. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider that the state is paying priest salaries, it does. There is other evidence that the Church has more money than seems appropriate. According to the Reuters article, one spokesman for the Church owns a 150 million Euro share in the National Bank of Greece. Despite its wealth, the Church has been exempt from paying taxes until now. The Greek government plans to tax Church property at 20% in addition to other taxes. It seems like the Greek Church might have a real opportunity to help Greece – by finally paying up.
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