A money laundering crackdown by the Bank of Italy has caused the Vatican to abruptly go to ’cash only’ for tourists. Credit card and debit card purchases are being declined, and on-site cash machines have been shut down or removed.
This is apparently in an attempt to hold the notorious Vatican Bank accountable to their inadequate money-laundering controls.
Some commentators have mused on the paradox of telling people to use cash when trying to monitor money-laundering activities. The Vatican has played down the episode, passing it off as a temporary glitch after the expiration of an agreement between some Holy See offices and the current provider of its electronic point-of-sale services.
The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, told reporters this week that discussions with other providers were under way, and that the interruption of credit card and debit card sales “would be short-lived.”
But the Bank of Italy’s actions underscore larger concerns about the transparency of the Vatican’s finances, something that Pope Benedict XVI has promised to fix.
The Bank of Italy – which monitors the activities of Italian banking institutions, even in foreign states – did not issue a formal statement. But financial experts said the bank’s decision reflected concrete concerns over banking and financial legislation at Vatican City state, as well as an inadequate system of independent supervision.
While the Holy See has traditionally been tight-lipped about the dealings of its primary financial institution, the Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, the Vatican has worked in recent years to comply with international transparency and money-laundering standards, with mixed results.
The cash-only measurements come after implications of money laundering and scandal have shaken the Vatican Bank (Institute for Works of Religion), including the dismissal of the former Director, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. This, plus countless child abuse investigations, and the Pope’s personal butler leaking papers which allegedly highlighted corruption, has left the Vatican reeling and struggling to secure the power and influence it once maintained.
By Elizabeth Leafloor, RedIceCreations.com
To hear more indepth discussion of the history of the Vatican Bank, murder, coverup and corruption, tune into Red Ice Radio:
Your Smartphone Broadcasts Your Entire Life To The Secret Service 2014 09 23
Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think.
Ton Siedsma is nervous. He made the decision weeks ago, but keeps postponing it. ...
Scots were tricked into voting ‘No’ – Salmond 2014 09 23
London politicians gulled Scottish voters out of independence by making a false “vow” to grant Glasgow extra powers, First Minister Alex Salmond has said. He also raised the prospect of another referendum, saying the break-up is inevitable.
Alex Salmond, leader of the ’Yes’ campaign and the outgoing head of the Scottish National Party (SNP), told the BBC’s Sunday Politics program that ...
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 2014 09 23 The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
Suspected Ebola patient Finda “Zanabo” prays over her sick family members before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center on Aug. 21, 2014, near Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has spiraled out of control, affecting thousands of Liberians, Sierra Leonians, and Guineans, ...
Man bitten by Ebola patient flown to Switzerland 2014 09 22
Swiss authorities say a male nurse who was bitten by an Ebola patient while working in West Africa has been flown to Switzerland as a precaution.
The health ministry says the unidentified man was working for an international organization in Sierra Leone when he was bitten by a child infected with Ebola on Saturday.
The ministry says the nurse was wearing protective ...