World Bulletin/News Desk
Italy’s Catholic Church will be forced to pay taxes starting in 2013 after the EU pressured the country’s government to pass a controversial law stripping the Church of its historic property tax exemption, Russian Today reported..
The Catholic Church in Italy is excluded from paying taxes on its land if at least a part of a Church property is used non-commercially – for instance, a chapel in a bed-and-breakfast.
"The regulatory framework will be definite by January 1, 2013 – the start of the fiscal year – and will fully respect the [European] Community law," Italian premier Mario Monti's government said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move could net Italy revenues of 500 million to 2 billion euros annually across the country, according to the report. The extra income from previously exempt properties in Rome alone – including hotels, restaurants and sports centers – could reach 25.5 million euros a year, La Repubblica daily newspaper reported.
The measure came after the country’s leadership decided in February to alter Italy’s property tax code, ending the Church’s longstanding privileges due to the severe debt crisis.
Last December, after new austerity measures were adopted in the country, 130,000 Italians signed an online petition urging the government to strip the Church of its tax exemption.
Two years ago, the EU began to investigate whether the tax privileges of some Church properties in Italy could be considered illegal state aid.
EU commissioner Frans Timmermans says it's against European spirit to refuse refugees
Violent clashes erupt after parliament approves president-proposed Constitutional amendments regarding decentralization of power
'The situation among internally displaced people is particularly worrying', UN aid chief says
Interior ministers of all 28 EU member states expected to meet on September 14 to discuss ways to cope with the refugee crisis
An Israeli soldier attacked a young Palestinian girl and attempted to arrest a Palestinian boy with a broken arm.
Nigerian army Colonel says armed group tarnishes image of Islam
Since the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula, countless Crimean Tatar activists have been either killed or kidnapped, while those responsible have never brought to justice.
Operation Sea Breeze, a naval drill between European NATO forces will be holding drills until mid-September.
Report says White Hosue would make a decision soon after President Xi's visit to US next month
Austria is hunting for human traffickers at its eastern borders after last weeks tragedy that saw 70 refugees found dead in the back of a truck in Austria.
A new clause in the constitution will be put to public vote limiting the presidential term to a maximum of two after CAR descended into violence
Fresh battles in eastern Benghazi have claimed the life of four soldiers as government troops and opposition groups vy for control
Following three-day trial, ten convicts are executed Saturday morning by firing squad
Thousands are reportedly driven from their homes amid violent land disputes between rival clans in Kenya’s Rift Valley
Alpine nation aimed to send financial aid to Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia Herzogovina to help them deal with the ballooning migrant crises on their territories
Suspected cases also reported in Bakul, Dunmagari and Gallari states, according to government statement