published: 17.12.2013, 12:25 | updated: 17.12.2013 12:28:14
Prague - Representatives of churches and the future Czech government coalition parties, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and ANO, today agreed on the transparent execution of the church property return on the basis of the restitution law, Senate deputy head Alena Gajduskova (CSSD) has told reporters.
The churches and religious organisations will discuss the parties´ particular demands at a meeting in January.
The CSSD and ANO movement would like to lower the financial compensation for the churches´ property that cannot be returned and change the inflation clause to the compensation.
Besides, they are considering setting up a government working group to monitor the process of the return of the churches´ property confiscated by the communist regime.
The third coalition partner, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), are against changes to the restitution law.
"We have agreed that we will agree on all matters connected with the implementation of the law on the state-churches settlement to be transparent and open in terms of information," Gajduskova said after the first meeting of the churches and parties´ representatives held in the Senate today.
The next meeting would be held on church grounds.
The churches´ representatives should submit its background documents in support of the restitution law at the second meeting, Czech Bishops´ Conference general secretary Tomas Holub said.
The CSSD representative should prove the rightful character of their demands and argue why the law is viewed as not completely just towards other restitution claimants.
"The churches have a feeling that everything is as it should be, we have a slightly different opinion. We must submit figures and facts," Gajduskova said.
ANO deputy chairman Martin Stropnicky said the talks should be correct to be able to reach agreement.
The participants in the talks reiterated that a possible change to the restitution law would have to be result of a bilateral agreement.
Under the law on state-church property settlement, which was pushed through by the then right-wing cabinet and took effect in January, 16 churches are to get back over the next 30 years some real estate confiscated from them 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.
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