The head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos weighed in on the issue of name dispute with FYROM and Sunday’s referendum in the neighbouring country.
Addressing the Holy Synod, Ieronymos said: “The wider Balkan region is again turning into a space of political fermentations and national claims. Our identity, our history is once again the subject of negotiations, consultations and compromises. First of all, we want, besides our national integrity that is non-negotiable, the progress of neighboring peoples,” he noted.
“We want, however, and demand respect for our long cultural, Greco-Christian heritage, something that we must make clear in all directions,” added Ieronymos.
The Archbishop clarified that the Church would continue to have a say in crucial matters. “The holy Church had, has and will never cease to have a say, no matter how much some people want the opposite, on crucial issues concerning the future of the country, especially when our national interests are in jeopardy or under threat”.
In his address, Ieronymos referred to a “new post-memorandum Greece wounded and socially unstable. A Greece without clear navigation, without a vision, without national unity and a plan for the lives of Greeks in key areas, such as education, health and foreign policy. ”
He claimed the population of Greece was under siege on occasion of the brain drain and the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Greeks due to the economic crisis. “The population of Greece is under persecution and I am very afraid that in 50 years from today our country will be transformed into a vast nursing home, with no vitality, no power, no optimism and without youthful enthusiasm. “