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Cyprus church braces for '100 mn euro' bailout hit

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cyprus's wealthy Orthodox Church stands to lose more than 100 million euros in the bailout deal reached with international creditors early Monday, its leader Archbishop Chrysostomos said.

"The capital owned by the Church, which was over 100 million euros, has been lost," the archbishop told reporters.

"There will be many difficulties, some will lose their jobs, the hungry will be multiplied and the Church has to take care of people," he added.

The church has substantial shareholdings on the island, including in the banks at the centre of the drastic financial sector cuts imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a condition for releasing 10 billion euros in emergency loans.

The church's interests range from hotels to brewers, and it is also the island's biggest landowner.

Last September, as the financial crisis bit, the church cut salaries of bishops and most priests by 15 to 25 percent but spared those who received 1,500 euros or less in monthly salaries.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130325/cyprus-church-braces-100-mn-euro-bailout-hit