Greece’s Minister of State and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos revealed on Wednesday that the historic agreement reached between the Church and State, removing priests from the public service payroll, could potentially allow the government now to hire up to 10,000 civil servants.

Tzanakopoulos noted that the clergy are currently considered civil servants, but the new agreement means they will be removed from the public payroll and paid by the Church through a government subsidy which the government anticipates that, by 2030, the costs will be covered by revenues from the Church property fund.

Greece’s agreement with its creditors foresees one hiring for every departure in the public sector and the new agreement with the Church will give the government the option to fill the vacancies created by hiring public-sector staff to cover the needs of the social state, primarily, such as doctors, teachers and nurses.