Archbishop defends solar park project

Archbishop Ieronymos said on Friday that the Church of Greece is determined to make use of its assets using all legitimate means ?for the benefit of the people,? rebuffing criticism provoked by the Church?s decision to build a photovoltaic park on the slopes of Mount Pendeli, north of Athens.

Without naming anyone in particular, Ieronymos blasted ?individuals whose social contribution and solidarity is limited to ?grandiloquent, tearful and ostensibly ideologically loaded sermons.? Such speeches will not help austerity-weary Greeks, Ieronymos said. ?Words will not comfort our people, who have been plunged into poverty and insecurity,? he said, adding that the Church?s charities were doing the best they could despite «being abandoned increasingly by the welfare state.?

Earlier this month, authorities granted the Church the right to build the solar park in spite of a law on forest protection forbidding construction on this land. The proposal suggests the Church be granted the right to build on the 350-hectare plot in return for reforesting 2,000 hectares of burned land.

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