The proposed agreement between the government and the Church of Greece will "change a great many things", Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday in a televised interview with Alpha TV during the channel's evening news programme.
"It is a historic step forward, with which we come to resolve outstanding problems going back decades," he said.
The deal agreed with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos a few days earlier, he added, will free up 10,000 positions in the public sector that the government can proceed to fill in areas where there was a need.
Regarding the new Fund for the Exploitation of Church Assets, he said that this would include all disputed Church properties but also non-disputed properties handed over voluntarily. From the proceeds of this fund, which will begin operating immediately, the Greek state expects to be able to cover a large part of the subsidy it will give to cover the salaries of the clergy up until 2030, the prime minister said.
The prime minister said that the proclamation of the 10,000 new positions will take place in 2019 so that they can start to be covered from 2020 onward. He noted that the 1:1 hirings to departure ration was firmly established and meant that the state could take on an additional 10,000 public-sector workers.
Ο πρωθυπουργός μίλησε για αμοιβαία επωφελή συμφωνία και για την Εκκλησία και για το κράτος, που θα έχει πολλαπλά οφέλη και οικονομικά.
"No historic step is taken without reactions; when you head for a compromise both sides take a step back in order to take many steps forward," Tsipras said. History will finally record the steps forward, not the shouts of protest, he added.