Prague, July 18 (CTK) – The Czech Association of Local Self-Rule Bodies (SMS) will call on churches to stop claiming property from municipalities in unsubstantiated cases like they did in case of regions, its head Stanislav Polcak told journalists yesterday.
Polcak said the SMS joined the call voiced by the Union of Towns and Villages.
The two associations want to present their request to the Czech Bishops’ Conference in August, said Polcak, a MEP elected for the Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement.
He said the SMS addressed a letter to the bishops yesterday.
Polcak said he cannot understand why the Catholic Church withdrew its complaints filed against regions but not those filed against municipalities.
Churches have filed over 500 property claims concerning real estate or movable property now owned by municipalities. About 80 of these complaints concern members of the SMS.
These complaints block the development of the municipalities concerned, Polcak said. They go against the aim of the church restitution law, which was to enable the management of former church property, he added.
Czech churches have been financially compensated for the property confiscated in the past that was not returned to them. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled recently that the past transfer of state property to regional and municipal authorities should not be challenged.