Feb. 11 - In a surprise move, Pope Benedict is leaving as head of the Roman Catholic Church, centered at the Vatican, a government operating at with a deficit. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is 15 million as in 15 million euros. Vatican City was 15 million euros in the red in 2011, according to the CIA's World Factbook. We're taking a look at that number after the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict, the first Pope to step down in 700 years. The Pope is the head of The Vatican, which is a separate country within Italy. And the Vatican has not been immune from the financial woes spreading across Europe, which quickly chewed up the Holy See's income from donations and tourists. As a result, the Vatican is looking to cut costs. But in the meantime, it got another hit. In December, The European Union cleared Italy to impose property taxes on real estate the Vatican owns, but uses for non-religious activities, like a hotel or a guest house. This could result in a tax bill of about 700 million euros to more than a billion. The church gets income from investments, real estate, and donations. It also makes money on the sale of stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and publications. Pope Benedict presides over the world 1.2 billion Catholics and According to Business Insider, one of the world's largest landowners - the Roman Catholic Church.