A land bill ratifying an agreement dating back to 1971, will be presented to the South Cyprus Assembly for voting.
The old agreement between the church and the state, both headed by Archbishop Makarios at the time, said that the state would partly subsidise the salaries of priests in rural areas, in exchange for over 15,564 acres of church land.
The government currently uses that portion of land which lies within its borders. However, 73% of the land lies in North Cyprus and is estimated to be worth just over 125 million euros.
According to the Church’s central fund director Ioannis Charilaou, the land was granted to the state at the time the original agreement was signed – in February 1971, and has been used by the South’s government since, but was never officially transferred.