The Council of Europe keeps the Vatican on the 'black list' of fiscally opaque countries

The Council of Europe will keep the Holy See within the blacklist of countries at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, after this noon was published the Moneyval report, in which he notes "important progress", although he regrets some aspects that need to be improved: the speed of Vatican justice and the few sentences against corruption in the Holy See. In this point, the 'Becciu case' It seems to have weighed heavily in not taking the definitive step of proposing the inclusion of the Vatican among countries free of corruption. In fact, it is hoped that a concrete decision can soon be made on whether to try the cardinal defenestrated by Francis.

Thus fell Becciu, the cardinal who diverted hundreds of millions of euros from the poor to speculation

Thus fell Becciu, the cardinal who diverted hundreds of millions of euros from the poor to speculation

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The report is based on the visit that Moneyval made to Rome from September 30 to October 12, at which time the Pope constituted two pontifical commissions to reform the economic and administrative structures, leaving the APSA and the Ministry of Economy with full capacity. administrative. Among other decisions, the Secretary of State (investigated in the 'Becciu case' for possible embezzlement of funds for the purchase and sale of luxury palaces in London) was removed from the ability to spend a single euro.

Moneyval experts assure that in the Holy See there is "a high level general knowledge about money laundering and financing of the terrorist threat", and that in some areas, "there is a detailed understanding of the risk", although it warns of "possible abuses of the internal system" that have not been modified. Especially, that only two cases have been tried in the courts of the Holy See, which the report attributes to the lack of resources of the Prosecutor's Office and the forces of order, insufficient specialization in financial investigation, which gives "results modest in court with only two money laundering convictions. "

"Some delays persist in the incorporation of these decisions into national legislation," laments the Council of Europe body, which recommends that the Vatican improve the use of financial intelligence in criminal investigations, hire prosecutors with experience in financial crimes and introduce a protocol for facilitating investigations and trials.

Satisfaction in Rome

At the same time, it also advises establishing a comprehensive petition procedure to the Holy See when their consent is requested to initiate criminal proceedings against cardinals and bishops, so that they are not, in practice, unpunished for their condition as Vatican citizens.

For his part, the president of the Vatican's Financial Information and Supervision Authority, Carmelo Bargagallo, described the report as "positive", noting that the Holy See received five ratings for 'substantial' effectiveness and six for 'moderate' effectiveness; and that in no case was there a low efficacy rating. "

Among the aspects that still need to be worked on, Moneyval points out that of justice, in particular the speed of the processes and the dissuasive effect of the sentences in the Vatican. "The recommendations expressed by the Moneyval report regarding the jurisdiction of the Vatican, concludes the President of the ASIF, constitute an incentive to do even better, always keeping the quality of the human resources employed high and reinforcing the activity of all the authorities involved. in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. These are suggestions that help the Vatican to contribute to the realization, in conditions of maximum transparency and financial correctness, of the ultimate objective of the Church's mission. "

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