TNBiz (TNBiz)
Laws  |  December 27, 2012 11:32:20

Church will come in the billions, from January pay restitution law


PRAGUE (MEDIAFAX) - A coalition of great joy and emotion explicitly expressed by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) will enter into force in January 2013 law on religious restitution. Opposition and the president of the joy on the contrary do not claim that is returned more than the churches they belong.

"I'm very happy and I admit that I was also moved. After twenty years the company managed to achieve justice in this matter," zaglosoval after the night of 7 votes to 8 November Finance Minister.

The opposition did not share his emotion far. "It never happened to shift assets over a hundred billion, which obliges the state and taxpayers in twenty or thirty years, has established a bare majority, plus people convicted for corruption. This is the greatest memento for the government of Petr Necas," commented Chairman of the Parliamentary Club Social Democrats Jerome Tejc after the vote.

Hinted that the House of Commons Senate overrode only 102 votes, and two of them were Jaroslav Skarka, which is ineffective convicted of corruption, and Roman Pekárek with which it is associated final condemnation.

Left-wing MPs also believed that there is no ideal time to begin to pay huge sums to churches, because the Czech economy is declining. They wanted to postpone the validity of the law, but Prime Minister Necas refused, saying that it would be needed again fail to reach an agreement with the churches.

Discontent which fueled restitution on the political scene even the public, led by President Vaclav Klaus of the fact that the law did not sign. While vetoing it, not to threaten the government, but his name under it would not connect. Over the decision reached by the President on the political scene there is no consensus in society, though its fulfillment will oblige other governments.

"This decision is an expression of my revulsion from the process of law," Klaus wrote in a letter to the Chair of Deputies Miroslava Nemcova (ODS).

He believes that the law in the form in which it was adopted, raises unequal conditions in the state's approach to the issue of restitution and redress past between churches and religious communities and all other stakeholders. Artwork by Klaus Church against the others and at the expense of other favors.

"It creates a real potential risk of a serious breach of our existing restitution legislation and the emergence of new demands and requirements to the state of the entities, which under this Act may feel discriminated against," said Klaus.

CSSD even filed a constitutional complaint against the law. Had three reasons: that it violated equality before the law of churches and other restitution, procedural irregularities during the vote, and that, according to her he is not restitution, but the transfer of property to individual churches.

"We give money institutions that emerged after 1989. Apostolic Church has given a billion, there is a total of six such churches. What's the offset? Property is just moving, not restitution," explained Chief Whip CSSD Jerome Tejc.

Before breaking in 1948 and by catching up, and church, which the communist regime nezabavil no assets, warned the opposition all the time discussing the law.

The Social Democrats, however, the Constitutional Court failed and the law on the restitution of church with the New Year comes to life.

The primary objective property settlement is to allow churches and religious communities that were economically independent of the state. The main part of the returned property is in farm property. Restitution will cost to churches to pay for 30 years. During the first 17 years, however, will continue to contribute to churches for their operation. The first three years of the contribution will be the same as at present, the next 14 years, annually reduced by five percent.

The proposal is based on the agreement with the Government of Churches, an increase in the total amount of in-kind restitution of the original 51 billion crowns to 75 billion crowns. With this increase, however, reduces the total financial compensation of 83 billion to 59 billion.

The first January there will be also canceled blocking church property, which now belongs to municipalities, counties and other non-state actors, assets, however, the churches will not be returning."This will underpin the development of municipalities, which are not yet able to freely dispose of blocked property. Occurs thereby allowing individual residential and business construction and prevent further deterioration of the technical condition of the property still blocked. They can also be drawn from European grant funds for these properties," substantiate the government.

From the same churches will begin to run annual period during which they can make a claim on the original property. In most cases they are currently the owner of the Land Fund, Forests of the Czech Republic. Church will also have to prove that the land owned after 25 February 1948.

Claim shall not apply to such State land on which it is building, or on the planned construction of transport and technical infrastructure.

From 1 January 2013 also ends Act of 1949 on the economic security of churches and religious societies by the state, according to which 17 churches and religious communities paid annually total about 1.4 billion.

The law, however, awaits change that on Thursday, 20 December sanctified by the government. This is a proposal by Deputy Michal Doktor (ODS elected, now assigned), he hopes that the church had to pay tax on the first sale of restituted property, in the original version are exempt from this obligation. Nečasův cabinet was with the doctor arranged for the adoption of the draft, "bought" so doctor's voice in enforcing church restitution.

With a similar requirement to the government and politicians turned Public Affairs and the Social Democrats, but their proposals to the favorable opinion reached.

Katerina Šurmanová, surmanova@mediafax.cz

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