The Italian government is being asked by the European Commission (EC) to explain tax breaks which the Vatican enjoys on income from property.
The EC has received complaints that the concessions amount to illegal state aid, despite the deal stemming from an treaty between Italy and the Catholic church dating back to 1929.
Full texts of the Concordats can be read here.
The Vatican has agreed to co-operate fully with the EU, but many analysts say that the Holy See, or central government of the Catholic church, senses an underlying prejudice against the church.
Ed Pentin, Rome correspondent for the Catholic Herald, said the EU has a history of being anti-Catholic and anti-church. “Particularly within the European parliament, for example, there is a certain anti-Catholic bias,” he said.
The Catholic church is a wealthy organisation with property and commercial enterprises worth $3bn, at the helm of which sits Pope Benedict XVI.
Now, the State of the Vatican City has been called before the European Union for questioning.
Can the EU do that to a sovereign State??
Should the EU do that to a sovereign State??