March 20, 2013
The head of Cyprus' influential Orthodox church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, says he will put the church's assets at the country's disposal to help pull it out of a financial crisis, after lawmakers rejected a plan to seize up to 10 percent of people's bank deposits to secure an international bailout.
Speaking after meeting President Nicos Anastasiades Wednesday, Chrysostomos said the church was willing to mortgage its assets to invest in government bonds.
The church has considerable wealth, including property, stakes in a bank and a brewery. Tuesday's rejection of the deposit tax has left the future of the country's international bailout in question.
Cyprus needs 15.8 billion euros to bail out its banks and shore up government finances to avoid default and a potential exit from the European joint currency.