The state subsidy to the Church of Cyprus for the Orthodox rural clergy salary since 1971 will be steadily increased by nearly €1 million over the next 10 years. This is because the number of clergymen that will be subsidized by the State will gradually increase too.
According to a report by philenews.com, the Archbishop and his negotiating team have been able to raise the level of state sponsorship the Church will receive over the next 10 years.
There is also a steady increase in the number of clergymen, whose salary will be subsidized, by 0.5% a year from 2026 onwards.
Furthermore, the agreement in question does not set an expiry date, which means a perpetual obligation to provide state funding to the Church, which will be increased in the interim, year after year, a finding that sparked strong reactions from Members of the Finance Committee yesterday.
Under the 1971 agreement, which was decided and endorsed by the then President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios III, the Archdiocese should transfer to the State in return for subsidizing the salary of its Orthodox clergy, 3,845.8644 acres.
Of these, about 73% are in the occupied areas. The process of transferring to the State the acres located in the free zones of Cyprus is in progress. For the parcels of land in the occupied territories it was considered appropriate, for political reasons, to remain in the possession of the Archdiocese for the time being.
According to the Cadastre Department, the Church land to be granted to the State amounted to € 206 million in 2010. However, on the basis of the new general valuation on 1/1/2018, the value of these parcels of land has declined sharply.