Leaders of the Holy Mountain on Mt. Athos are threatening to exclude politicians from their functions of the holy site for the 100th anniversary of its incorporation into a state entity in October if it is not exempted from taxes forever.
During a recent meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens, the cleric leaders demanded the special status, but it was not publicized.
A government representative, Takis Baltakos, was sent to meet the Mt. Athos officials and calm them while attending functions for the fare of St. George at the Xenophon Monastery and meet officials.
“We made this clear to the Prime Minister as well, regardless of the fact it wasn’t publicized. We will not accept any politician in celebrations if this isn’t immediately solved and indeed with the legislative regulation that will stand forever,” a monastery official stated to the newspaper Ethnos.
He added, “The discussion with the Prime Minister was vague but we are not satisfied by this. We want special commitments that will stand for life.
He said that during the celebratory functions it will be stressed that Mt. Athos is self-governing. Last November, during the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the peninsula of the area from the Ottoman Empire at Karyes, the only government officials invited were naval Vice-Admiral Kosmas Christides and other naval officers.