Although the Greek government will pay for the country’s first official mosque in the Athens neighborhood of Votanikos, it will not allow a minaret, Foreign Minister Avramopoulos stated in a letter sent to the Parliament, following a report of the independent MP Nikos Nikolopoulos.
Avramopoulos said that the mosque, which have a capacity of 350, will be developed at an existing state building, an unused naval base that will be renovated in an industrial area. He said a minaret would not be harmonious with the surroundings.
“The matter of the construction of a mosque has bothered the State’ bodies in a long term, so as the best possible solution for the maintenance of the integral balance and safety would be found,”, Avramopoulos reported. He added that “at the same time it is a standing request of the Muslim residents of Greece.”
He added that, “The government, with transparency, makes moves that anyone can check and that are not defined from expediencies.” The country’s Muslims have been pressuring the government for years to build them a mosque as they now have to use basements, garages and other makeshift facilities.