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29 June, 2000
The Greek government said on Wednesday, that on the question of whether the religious affiliation will be registered on new identity cards, "the government has expressed its final and irrevocable position on an issue, which is the exclusive responsibility of the state."
A government decision to omit religious affiliation from new IDs provoked strong reactions by the Church hierarchy.
Reppas said procedures for issuing the new identity cards are going ahead and the relevant decision will be implemented soon.
Speaking on the collection of signatures, he said "the administration of the Church has every right to choose the way with which it will activate its forces, as is also the case with every citizen who is free to develop his activities, always in the framework of the constitution and the laws."
Reppas further noted that everyone assumes responsibility for his acts and even more so in view of procedures, which might result in the dissension of Greek society.
Replying to a question on whether the property of the Church will also be an issue in a dialogue between the state and the Church, Reppas said it was one of the issues raised by the Church in the agenda to be discussed, when it set out its positions to the Education Minister. He further said the issue of funds requested by the Church from the 3rd Community Support Framework is an issue, which can be discussed.
Source: Athens News Agency