The funeral of the leader of the Greek Orthodox church, Archbishop Christodoulos, takes place on Thursday, January 31. Giorgios Delastic describes how the church, which is not seperate from the state, has exerted a powerful influence on foreign policy. "Archbishop Christodoulos was a reforming nationalist. But he was quick to grasp the foreign policy game. With Greece a member of the EU, he had to strengthen ties with the Vatican... When angry over the Turkish question, he drew closer to the very powerful Russian Orthodox church in order to ease tensions. He was more a politician than an archbishop. His charisma is lacking among the candidates for the position of Archbishop of Athens. That is why the election to choose his successor has monopolised media attention. On issues like Cyprus, FYROM, and Turkey, any false move could have unfortunate consequences."
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