Prague - The confiscation of church assets in 1948 deprived Czech churches of potential profits totalling CZK 141 billion, according to a study conducted by Prague's University of Economics for a the lower house committee for church restitutions.
The committee was set up half a year ago after the opposition and some coalition MPs raised objections against an agreement between the government and churches on property restitutions. Under the deal, churches would get land worth CZK 51 billion and cash, paid in instalments over the next 60 years, worth CZK 83 billion plus interest.
The panel has also found out that under the communist regime the state invested a total of CZK 60 billion in church property and churches. The calculation was made at the request of former Culture Minister Vítězslav Jandák (ČSSD).
Another study ordered by the committee to review the value of assets that churches are supposed to get back under the original agreement with the government. The study will be completed in two months by auditor Ernst &Young and will cost the taxpayers CZK 2 million.