published: 11.12.2013, 21:02 | updated: 11.12.2013 21:23:51
Prague - The Czech state will not return buildings in the Prague Castle complex to the Roman Catholic Church within the church restitution because it would threaten the security of the presidential seat, the Presidential Office told public Czech Television (CT).
President Milos Zeman´s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said the church´s demand that the buildings within the castle complex goes against the diction of the law on the state-church property settlement and against the agreement that President Vaclav Klaus and Cardinal Dominik Duka reached in May 2010.
The Catholic Church is not going to take the matter to court.
Milan Badal, from the Prague Archbishopric, told CT that an agreement is being prepared that would deal with the issue.
This agreement between Duka and Zeman would be completed by mid-2014.
Daily Pravo wrote previously that the Prague Archbishopric applied for the return of nine buildings that are part of the Prague Castle complex and it planned to exchange them for two buildings owned by the Prague Castle Administration. The archbishopric says this is based on the Klaus-Duka agreement.
Under the law on state-church property settlement, which was pushed through by the then right-wing cabinet and took effect in January, the churches are to get back over the next 30 years some real estate confiscated from them by the Czechoslovak communist regime in 1948-1989, worth 75 billion crowns, plus 59 billion in compensation for unreturned property that is to be raised by inflation. Simultaneously, the state will gradually cease financing churches.
The forming coalition government is negotiating with the church representatives about revisions in the law, especially lowering of the financial compensation, exemption of the Prague Castle from from restitution and the limitation of the purpose for which the money to be paid out to churches can be used.
The churches are against changes in the law.
The State Land Office registered church applications to return 63,644 plots and 814 buildings by December 10.
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