A top Bulgarian cleric today failed to sell his gold Rolex to pay the electricity bill of his cash-strapped church as there were no takers for the watch in the EU’s poorest country.
Metropolitan Nikolay of the southern city of Plovdiv decided to sell the watch late last month to pay the almost 3,000-leva (USD 2,000) power bill of the Saint Marina church.
“I’d rather go to heaven without a watch than to hell with one,” the state BTA agency quoted him as then saying.
A public tender for the Rolex however failed to attract any bidders today due to its high asking price of 11,600 leva.
Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church is the largest property owner in the country after the state but is short of funds to cover utility bills and its clergy receive a pittance in salary.
Nikolay’s Rolex and a Lincoln car owned by his counterpart in the city of Varna have sparked angry comments in the press.
The cost of electricity in Bulgaria more than doubled in January from December,sending tens of thousands into the streets in protests that to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s resignation last month.