Saturday, 25 November 2017

ANO leader explaining transfer of church agenda

ČTK |
15 November 2017

Ostrava, North Moravia, Nov 14 (CTK) - The costs associated with financing of churches account for 29 percent of the Czech Culture Ministry budget, ANO leader Andrej Babis said on Tuesday, explaining why he wants the church agenda to be moved to the Finance Ministry.

ANO wants a higher budget for culture and churches should not be counted within this, Babis said.

This is why it is logical that the Finance Ministry should administer the church agenda, he added.

Under the restitution law, 16 churches and religious movements receive back land and real estate worth 75 billion crowns, confiscated from them by the communist regime, and gradually give 59 billion crowns plus inflation in financial compensation for unreturned property by 2030. Simultaneously, the state gradually ceases financing churches.

Babis recently proposed the transfer.

"This should be naturally outside the office, since this includes the return of property, the compensations. The church also still receives money for the support of its activities. Since the Education Ministry sponsors church schools, the church obtains enough money," Babis said.

The idea has been rejected by the Catholic church, the biggest recipient of the money.

The Culture Ministry has declined to comment on Babis's plans.

Babis is conducting talks on the creation of a government. Last week, he proposed that the financial part of the church restitution should be taxed. The idea has been backed by the Communists and the Freedom and Democracy (SPD).

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