The squatters of the Monastery of Esphigmenou buildings were sentenced to six-month imprisonment with three-year suspension for fraud on a continuous basis against the State.
According to a relevant announcement of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou, the squatters illegally exempted from VAT, pretending to be the regular administration of the monastery, by using the name and seal of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou.
In this way, they were illegally having economic benefits by not paying the due tax, as paid by every Greek citizen, the announcement continues.
It is pointed out that no one has the right to make use of the exemption of VAT as an Athonite, except for those lawfully entitled to it, who are the Orthodox monks who are registered in the monk lists of the monasteries of Mount Athos and legally live in either these or in their cells, as it is characteristically noted.
“The residents in the main building of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou are not monks of Mount Athos but ordinary squatters. They have no right to remain on Mount Athos nor to appear as monks of Mount Athos or of Esphigmenou Monastery, according to the decisions of Mount Athos and the Greek Justice.
The Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou once again expresses its trust in Greek justice and is convinced that its decisions, taken with the help of God, will finally be implemented by the Greek state.
Thus, legitimacy will be restored, and normality will return to this solemn holy place so that it can perform its mission unhindered,” the announcement of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou concludes.