Thessaloniki, Greece: Church Inc. by Occupied Migrants House Old Orphanage

The church appears impatient to pull down the old Orphanage. It cannot wait to allegedly offer its services to the chronically ill of this town. The truth is that over four years have passed since the Ministry of Health handed the building over to the church, with a license to erect a privately owned hospital.

Mr Loverdos (then minister of health, indeed the minister who publicly shamed HIV positive women and openly promoted anti-immigrant and racist ideas), entrusted the building of the old Orphanage to the church for the following 25 years, so that the church could renovate it and convert it into a care facility for sufferers of chronic illnesses. This decision was part of the privatization plan of the health system and the destruction of all welfare services, rather than the expression of social concern.

It seems that the potential profit margin of this deal, to immediately erect a hospital, was deemed too slim by the church. Eager to please, the ministry soon after came up with a new proposal: The building would be entrusted to the church for double the time – 50 years. While the new agreement stated that “the opening of the facility in the entrusted building would have to be two years from the time of the hand-over at the latest” -remember this took place in 2011, so this means the hospital should have been ready and functioning by 2013, a bonus was added. The time period would be extended to five years “in the case of demolition” and the erection of an entirely new building in place of the old, and with a license for a high-rise, multi-story facility. Also, the new agreement stated that the building, occupied at the time, housing approximately 15 people, would be evicted by order of the local church authority.

The eviction of the building did take place in the end, by the holy hand of the Greek riot squad no less. Unfortunately, the Church Inc did not show the same enthusiasm for building and opening the health facility within the allocated two-year period. For the Church Inc. the ill would have to wait until the demolition became the only legal solution for the building (since the two-year period which allowed renovation is over). Holy duties have their priorities too: Demolition means a lot more profit for the church.

Lots of cash for the church. Almost as much as their hypocrisy.

Occupied Migrants House
Old Orphanage

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