published: 16.01.2013, 09:14 | updated: 16.01.2013 09:16:59
Prague - Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) wants to offer Czech churches financial compensation worth 59 billion crowns, which will be paid to them within the state-church property settlement, at least partly in the form of state bonds, daily Pravo writes today.
Under the church restitution law passed late last year, Czech churches will be returned 56 percent of the property confiscated from them under the communist regime and they will receive the compensation for the rest of the property in the next 30 years.
The sum may reach up to 96 billion crowns due to inflation, according to estimates.
Kalousek told Pravo that state bonds would be advantageous for both the Czech state and the churches.
He said it would be a secure investment for the churches if they did not need cash before the bonds are due. The bonds would be also advantageous for the state because it would not have to pay interests to international financial institutions, Kalousek added.
He said the churches may decide that they wanted the compensation in cash and that they would buy bonds on the market if they want them. He said the state would offer the churches a special emission of bonds.
The church will be considering the offer, the paper says.
Joel Ruml, head of the Czech Ecumenical Council of Churches, told Pravo this proposal is new for the churches.
"Our economists, especially investment economists, will be pondering and considering it," Ruml said.
Tomas Holub, Czech Bishops´ Conference general secretary, said he has received no official information on possible compensation in state bonds.
Holub said he believes the government has not yet dealt with the draft agreement between the state and churches that is being prepared by the Culture Ministry.
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