Italian Church, hit by the "inquisition" fees?
Government of Rome wants to ask the Church to pay property taxes, like all Italians.
Peninsula politicians are pressuring the Italian Catholic Church contributed to solving the crisis and to pay taxes on properties it owns. Mario Monti's cabinet could thus raise about 800 million annually in addition to the budget. Already a member of the Government asked it to clear. Church should pay taxes on commercial properties, said on Friday, Andrea Riccardi, Minister for Cooperation and Integration.
Politicians (especially the center-left), but economists say it is deeply unfair Peninsula that the Church does not pay anything for the property, especially that many business functions - for example, monasteries accommodation guests that require the same amount as a four star hotel. All are exempt from taxes.
"The privileges enjoyed by the Church so far are unacceptable and must be eliminated. When ordinary people are also required sacrifices, you can not retain unjustified exceptions, "said Felice Belisario, deputy party Italia dei Values." Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's, "urged Deputy . Requests the Vatican to make these sacrifices gaining followers on Facebook, where an online petition gathered 120,000 signatures so far.
What has the Church
Roman Catholic Church in Italy has almost 65,000 buildings, while Italy "has" a debt of 1,900 billion euros. For this reason there are more and more voices that claim that, after many centuries of tight money accounts from people, the Church should also give back and forth. Of the 65,000 buildings, writes "The Telegraph", 50,000 are cathedrals, churches and chapels, and will continue to be exempt from taxes. Covered the remaining buildings that have a commercial purpose - 11,000 schools, universities and libraries, and 5,000 hospitals, clinics and other commercial properties.
Maintain exemptions will be increasingly difficult for the new technocrat government of Rome, which has already announced that the Italians will be charged for their housing, so far reinstaurând abolished long ago by Silvio Berlusconi. The Italians will be hit by other tax increases, labor market reforms, and pension system. Mario Monti cabinet adopted austerity measures that would have saved 35 billion.
And the Italian Church is filthy rich, writes British newspaper. The potential is enormous. According to a large estate agents, Gruppo Re, a fifth of public properties in Italy are controlled directly or indirectly by the Church. The church has about 20% of properties in the country, including the Duomo in Florence. Some properties are exempt from such taxes Eau Vive French restaurant near the Pantheon in Rome navel, and four-star Hotel Ponte Sisto.
The law exempts any property taxes to the Italian Church dates from 1982. And former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, opposed her amendment. The Vatican has always argued that it should pay taxes on properties as it brings important social services through schools, community hospitals and its centers.
"The Church rests on the weakest in society and has activities that benefit society," said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, the second in hierarchy after Pope Benedict XVI. Church properties in Italy should not be confused with the Vatican. The buildings of "enclave" are exempt from taxes because they are considered part of a sovereign state, following the signing of the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and the dictator Benito Mussolini.
The Vatican would not oppose
Although increased pressure from all sides, Mario Monti's government has not yet decided to make the decisive step. The measure may face some resistance from some members of cabinet who have strong links with the Catholic Church.
But the Vatican is showing signs that no longer can afford to ignore this request, especially since the Pope has spoken recently about the "morality in global finance." And number two in the Vatican - Tarcisio Bertone - said that "this particular problem should to be studied "and that" sacrifice is part of life. "
For his part, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops Conference, said that the Church could consider the option of paying property taxes. The European Commission launched an investigation last year, the idea that exceptions may violate European laws on state aid. If the European Executive will decide that Italy violated European regulations, the government would have to ask the Church to give retroactive taxes from which it was exempt.
20% of public properties in Italy are owned directly or indirectly, by the Church.