The arrest of Abbot Efraim on Mount Athos.
Abbot Efraim, the head of the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, has been arrested for money laundering and embezzlement in connection with a land swap deal that has cost the government many millions of Euros. This is a big deal. I don’t know whether or not he is guilty. I do know from experience not to accept at face value everything that the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church claims about the operations of their institution. But on the other hand, the allegations that they make here about the Greek government’s motives also have the appearance of being entirely plausible.
There could be two reasons behind Abbot Ephraim’s arrest. One is that the EU has now been insisting for a long time that the Athos monasteries should be stripped of their special status and subordinated to the Greek government to a greater extent. The second reason is that some people in Europe are unhappy about the growing influence of Russians in Greece.
Here are a number of further articles on this incident.