Pope Francis arrives for his weekly common viewers, in St. Peter’s Square, on the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. eight, 2017. (Andrew Medichini/Associated Press)
By Nicole Winfield | AP By Nicole Winfield | AP November 9 at eight:23 AM
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is saying “Just Say No” to cigarettes.
The Vatican introduced Thursday that it could not promote cigarettes to workers in its obligation free store and grocery store — giving up an estimated 10 million euros ($11 million) a 12 months in revenue.
Francis made the choice as a result of “the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people,” the Vatican stated. An announcement cited the World Health Organization, which says smoking causes greater than 7 million deaths yearly across the globe.
A 2015 e book based mostly on leaked Vatican paperwork, “Avarice,” reported that cigarette gross sales herald an estimated 10 million euros a 12 months to the Vatican City State and are the second-most essential supply of revenue after tax-free fuel gross sales. The e book, nevertheless, additionally reported that the booming tobacco gross sales have been an instance of how the Vatican’s tax-free industrial actions have been being abused.
With Italy’s VAT gross sales tax at 22 %, anybody who can get their palms on a coveted Vatican “commercial card” does so because it provides them entry to a world of high-end, tax-free purchasing. With it, fortunate cardholders should purchase their weekly groceries on the Vatican grocery store, fill their tank on the Vatican fuel station, get a prescription crammed on the Vatican pharmacy, and do their Christmas purchasing on the Vatican’s division retailer — all obligation free.
And the pickings are wonderful: Cuban cigars, Samsung flat-screen TVs, prestigious wine so sought-after that the Vatican constantly tops the checklist of highest per-capita wine consumption on this planet.
Only Vatican workers, retirees and residents, accredited diplomats and members of non secular congregations have the fitting to a “commercial card” — a quantity that Ernst & Young estimated in 2013 shouldn’t exceed a couple of thousand folks on condition that the Vatican employs round 5,000 folks. And but, based on the E&Y audit reported in “Avarice,” 41,000 “commercial cards” have been in use.
Cardholders are restricted to purchasing 80 bins of cigarettes a 12 months however the audit discovered that 278 shoppers exceeded the restrict that 12 months.
The e book, written by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, hypothesized that cardholders have been reselling their cigarettes underneath the desk and making a good-looking, unreported revenue.
In its badertion, the Vatican stated whereas its cigarette gross sales represented a income “no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk.”
For the file, Francis doesn’t smoke however loads of his Vatican colleagues do. And whereas the Vatican formally banned smoking in almost all enclosed locations in 2002, violations abound.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.