Mt. Athos Monks Refuse To Be Taxed

MonksLeaders 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.



  1. This is promising, tax the rest of the church, maybe they will stop appearing for photo ops during political gatherings. Good way to get them out of the picture when it involves politics.

  2. If they don’t like to pay taxes then they should do more for the community to help them in their crisis, they don’t do enough.

  3. If they’re registered as a charity then they should be exempt from taxes. If they are registered as a business then they shouldn’t.

  4. The way things are going why not have a Tender out for religion i mean lets face it if the Muslims or the Hindus are prepared to pay taxes I vote we get rid of the Church and bring them in we can definitely use the cash .As far as the church being a Charity hard to swallow when they are Greece’s biggest landowner.

  5. It doesn’t sound very Christian to me to not pay taxes!
    Are they totally self governing ? Do they ever need medical attention from the outside world, or other services? Is Mt Athos part of Greece or not? If it is part of Greece and benefits from any Greek services it should pay its way according to its riches!

  6. Ok, let’s exempt them from taxes for ever, but start charging them VISAs when they want to travel, lease them the fire fighting airplanes, etc. etc. Oh and force them to accept women into Athos. See how they like them apples.

  7. Unbelievable. First up, I personally believe that Jesus would never expect that his clergy place themselves above the people. If they are willing to accept pay/ salaries from the public purse then they must pay taxes like all other humans. Or do they regard themselves as equal to God? Second, to all politicians – do not go regardless. They have no right to expect special privileges when the people are doing it so tough. Third, maybe they should be audited completely because who knows what they are hiding, what businesses they are running… I call myself a Christian but I do not claim to be perfect. On my mother’s side we have had a few priests in the family. And one very famous theologian. Yet I would blast any of them if they were alive today and made such a demand.

  8. Crazy I have seen first hand some of the nice speedboats they have and good solar panels, generators etc and if Athos and the church in general paid taxes it help a great deal the whole country…

  9. Clearly the Mt Athos religious clerics think they are operating a tax haven. Maybe they are looking to branch out into banking..

  10. It doesn’t matter if they own the largest amount of land in Greece. If they make their money through donations only then they’re a charity and so should be exempt from taxes. I don’t know how they make all of their money though.

  11. The Holly Mountain is a non profit organization like the UN: there are no shareholders basically, they are managing an estate for charity and future generations. Non profit organizations are excepted from taxing globally.

  12. umm… the Greek Church, along with all other religious establishments HAVE been paying their taxes since 2010 when tax exemptions were repealed on April 23, 2010 by law No. 3842/2010

    On top of this the Greek Church is Taxed at three times the normal rate according to the Fiscal Report given by the Archbishop of Athens Ieronimos in June of 2012

    The Holy Mountain has special autonomy granted to it in the Greek Constitution- THE FIFTH REVISIONARY PARLIAMENT OF THE HELLENES CONSTITUTION, CHAPTER THREE Regime of Aghion Oros (Mount Athos) Article 105


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