The head of the powerful Orthodox Church in Cyprus said in an interview published on Saturday that he favoured the debt-ridden island nation leaving the euro.
“It’s not easy, but we should devote to this as much time as was spent on entering the eurozone,” Archbishop Chrysostomos II said in an interview with the Greek daily Realnews.
“The euro cannot last,” said Chrysostomos, who this week offered to help bail the country out of its financial crisis by putting the church’s considerable assets at the government’s disposal.
“I’m not saying that it will crumble tomorrow, but with the brains that they have in Brussels, it is certain that it will not last in the long term, and the best is to think about how to escape it,” he said.
The Orthodox church is the largest landowner on the island and also has stakes in a wide range of businesses, including in the country’s Hellenic Bank, with total assets estimated to run into tens of millions of euros.
On Wednesday, Chrysostomos met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, offering to mortgage the church’s vast property holdings to buy government bonds.
The archbishop has a famous predecessor,Makarios III, who also served as the country's influential president. Maybe Chrysostomos should consider doing the same?