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.
A senior official has said that Burkina Faso will hold their own independent inquiry into the the abuse of children by French soldiers.
Bookseller Sam Mansour has been stripped of his Danish citizenship allegedly inciting terrorism through Facebook posts
President Joseph Kabila has said that he will not stand for a third term when it ends in 2016. The ambassador to the UK has said his compliance will mean that the UK will finance the election.
Ukraine's state-run gas company Naftogaz has announced the suspension of gas purchases from Russia from July 1
A court in Germany has ruled that Youtube must use a digitial fingerprint to prevent users uploading copyright material
Tensions over NATO and the Ukraine conflict have paved the way for the Bulgarian military to revamp its fleet.
Two French Uber executives will face trial over deceitful commercial practices and being complicit in illegal operation of a taxi service
Baltic states criticize Russian authorities for 'absurd' intention to review legality of their independence
European Union will provide Hungary with financial aid to take care of illegal migrant flows
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken at an official Ramadan iftar saying that Islam will always remain in Germany
In a letter, Greek prime minister offers to accept most of terms in creditor's Saturday offer with some minor conditions
U.S. President Barack Obama signed a legislation aimed on discouraging boycotts against Israel
An online crowdfunding campaign started by a London shoe shop worker is aiming to create a Greek bailout fund of his own.
Sheihk Kirya has become the 12th Muslim cleric to be slain in a period of 2 years.
Ten people suspected of joining ISIL have been arrested in a police operation on the Italian-Albanian border
Italian finance minister says euro zone ministers still open to any Greek agreement