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June 7, 2010

Romanian Church to Borrow Money for Cathedral

04 June 2010
Marian Chiriac
Balkan Insight

Plans for building a very large and controversial cathedral in Bucharest are still alive, with the Orthodox Church intending to borrow around €200 million in a syndicated loan to start construction by the end of this year, local press reports.

Church project manager Nicolae Noica said the church put up its forests, churches and other property to guarantee the loan for the new building, which will be called the Cathedral for the Salvation of the People. He stressed that the money would be reimbursed from the collection plate and donations and not from the state budget.

Financial analyst Bogdan Baltazar says the church will not have problems in attracting the loan. "The Orthodox Church is a very credible and stable institution in Romania. Furthermore, it has a lot of assests which can be used for guaranteeing the loan."

More than 85 percent of Romania's population of 21 million belong to the Orthodox Church. The new facility will take its place among other archictectural giants in the capital city. Bucharest is already home to the second-largest building [the former Ceausescu palace] after the Pentagon, the largest hotel and the largest shopping mall in southeastern Europe.