Debt Comes for the Archbishop

by Andrew Stuttaford

The Irish Independent reports:

A government official said an alternative plan to raise the 5.8 billion had been drafted and was to be presented to the troika. It would raise money from domestic sources, including pension plans and subsidiaries of foreign banks active in Cyprus. One of those domestic sources may be the country’s influential Orthodox church. Its head, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, said he would put the church’s assets at the country’s disposal, saying it was willing to mortgage its assets to invest in government bonds. The church has considerable wealth, including property, stakes in a bank and a brewery.

The Daily Telegraph quotes the archbishop:

The entire wealth of the Church is at the disposal of the country…so that we can stand on our own two feet and not on those of foreigners.

That’s the spirit.