Recently it was reported that the Italian radical party (similar to the Freemasons and the French Revolutionary parties) has submitted a proposal to withold the Vaticans tax exempt status, the likelihood of the exemption being revoked seems to be likely, as was reported in the Independent:
After several years of scandal in which the Catholic Church has faced allegations of financial impropriety, paedophile priests and rumours of plots to kill the Pope, the Vatican is now facing a new €600m-a-year tax bill as Rome seeks to head off European Commission censure over controversial property tax breaks enjoyed by the Church……..
The Vatican avoids Ici tax on about 100,000 properties, classed as non-commercial, including 8,779 schools, 26,300 ecclesiastical structures and 4,714 hospitals and clinics.
Estimates of its annual saving from avoiding the levy range widely from €600m to €2.2bn. The Church, however, says the tax exemption is worth only €100m a year. Neither is it clear from Mr Monti’s comments how much Ici tax the Church will now have to pay.
Are we seeing the waning of another old power structure such as the Vatican?
Now, we realize the Vatican will find ways to lobby, and lower its taxes, the way real business people do (outside of church exemptions), but this shows that the officials in Italy are considering going against a very old, powerful, structure (although its not likely to pass, legislatively). Not to mention the hundred of lawsuits, fines, and other legal action being taken toward the Church at this time.
Similar to the renaissance period, we expect a change in Italy and worldwide for the Catholic Church. The question becomes: how does this affect commerce? The market? Anyone familar with book on the assets of the Vatican, will know they have a significant influence in the markets because of their large holdings, similar in influence and valour to the mega-fund of Larry Fink.