Mount Athos monks angry about taxation

The Holy Community of Mount Athos, the monastic republic in northern Greece, complained on Tuesday about the ?unbearable? taxation of its properties across Greece and said that some monasteries might be forced to close down if authorities continue to impose higher taxes.

The monks? revenue ?is just about sufficient to cover repairs to buildings, their basic daily needs and food and lodgings for visitors,? the community said in a statement issued after its members convened to discuss the matter.

The taxation of the properties owned by the monastic community repeals the ?special institutional treatment? that had been reserved for it, the monks said. They argued that this special status should continue to apply otherwise several monasteries will be unable to keep operating, adding that the monks had made a significant contribution to society over the years, by accommodating refugees displaced following the expulsion of the Greek population from Asia Minor in 1922, for example.