Church of Greece expects millions in compensation from state after ECHR victory in real estate case

Athens, October 5, 2022

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The Church of Greece will be demanding several million euros in compensation from the Greek state for preventing it from developing its own property, which caused a huge loss of revenue.

Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens explained to the Holy Synod yesterday that the call for compensation comes after the Church won the relevant case with the European Court of Human Rights in June, reports

In December 2011, Greek media reported that the Archdiocese of Athens was planning to develop its 8.5 hectares in the southern Athenian coastal resort of Lemnos at Vouliagmeni with hotels, tourist accommodation, a conference center, a spa, a health center, a golf course, and more.

However, the local authorities continually delayed the development plans, even ignoring court orders to allow it to resume. The Church’s case reached the European Court of Human Rights in 2013, only reaching its conclusion this summer.

The court found that that in those years, the Church suffered a loss of revenue of up to 20 million euros a year for no discernible reason. There is no explanation for the why the administration delayed the Church’s plans, the Court notes.

“The Church of Greece will file a lawsuit against the Greek State seeking compensation,” the Archbishop said.

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Jesse Dominick10/5/2022 9:47 pm
Nicholas, we appreciate the information you've provided, but I don't see why this article makes the Greek Church look bad, and that certainly wasn't the intent of it. The whole point is that the state got in the way of the Church being able to use its own property. We even emphasized that the authorities were ignoring court orders and that there was no good reason why they were delaying the Church's plans.
Nicholas10/5/2022 4:40 pm
To the reader who knows very little to nothing about the relations between Church and State in Greece, this article seems to cast the Church of Greece in a dark light, to say the least. The facts are more complex. Since the 19th C and mid-20th C the State has appropriated enormous numbers of land and property formerly in the possession of the local Church. It has also requested and received from the Church many hectares of lands supposedly to develop philanthropic institutions like hospitals, schools, elderly homes etc. The result was that the State received these various estates without advancing their development in the least bit for decades. If fact, they were even used for purposes other than the original intent. The Church of Greece has been locked in legal disputes with the State of Greece and had to resort and seek justice at international courts. Legal disputes, challenges, endless court battles, legal fees etc have to be somehow accounted for especially when the State had even set a quota on ordinations nonetheless (i.e. the state agreed to pay the salaries of clergy ever since it ceased almost 90% of Church estates since 1833). At this point, the Church has to find some legal means to compensate these losses and reclaim back properties that were donated for philanthropic purposes and have been for decades stuck in limbo. The moral of this story is that copy-paste journalism is no journalism at all. reports on news that is contextual to Greek readers who have the contextual background to read and assess the intention of the Church of Greece. Unlike this website which is read mostly by non-Greek readers, converts, and the "occasional" bias towards the "evil and crooked Greeks" that come along with it. Sorry for the cynicism, but articles like these need more research unless the motive for re-printing is political.
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