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AsiaNews (02/28/06) – The head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Christodoulos, has criticized the European Union for being in favour of Turkey ’s entry in the bloc. At a reception held yesterday, in the presence of several representatives of the Brussels parliament, he said that “all leaders who favour Turkey ’s entry doubtless have their reasons”, but they “have a geo-strategic concern” and “serve other interests” foreign to the European mentality.

The Greek government joins the ranks of those countries that favour welcoming Turkey , despite the fact that for more than 30 years, the Greek Orthodox world has suffered because of the situation in the Turkish zone of Cyprus, submitted to rule that suffocates the Christian religion. Testimonies coming from the island of Cyprus speak of destroyed and not restored churches, of the theft of icons and sacred objects which are not investigated, of restrictions on freedom of worship.

In welcoming Turkey , continued the Metropolitan, the EU risked depriving itself of fundamental values like “the Christian faith, classical culture, and the rule of law”. He added: “We are moving far away from the spirit of the founders of Europe and it is not clear at all that the path followed by the current European leadership leads to its unity.”