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Two Greek Church Officials Suspected of Tax Evasion - paper

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The Greek finance ministry’s economic crimes department is probing the bank accounts of two top officials of the Greek Orthodox Church in a tax evasion investigation, the Ethnos newspaper reported on Monday.

MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Greek finance ministry’s economic crimes department is probing the bank accounts of two top officials of the Greek Orthodox Church in a tax evasion investigation, the Ethnos newspaper reported on Monday.

The Greek financial authorities discovered that  and Metropolitan Kyrillos of Thessaliotida, Fanari and Pharsalos had “dozens of millions” of euros in their bank accounts, Ethnos reported. The money, which came from donations, property rents and investment, was also put in their relatives' accounts, which are also being investigated.

Officials say they have a list of dozens of church officials and priests who have more than 100,000 euros (about $130,000) on their bank accounts in Greece and abroad, the paper said.

The Greek Orthodox Church claimed the reports were possibly a part of a “deliberate” media smear campaign and urged avoiding making conclusions while the investigation is underway.

A Greek Orthodox Church leadership spokesmen told Romfea.gr religious news agency that the media information campaign could be in “pursuit of certain goals.”

The church said the matter will be brought before the Holy Synod only after the results of the investigation are announced.

 

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