Vatican to initiate its own budget-cutting 'spending review'
Cuts sought in stationery, consulting and gifts to dignitaries31 October, 20:03
Even spending on the pope’s ornamental medals will fall under the review’s scrutiny.
The Holy See is undergoing a thorough effort to get its finances under control. On September 11, the Vatican said that it had drafted in a Swiss expert to help it fight money laundering more effectively as part of an effort to join the 'white list' of states that, unlike tax havens, respect international standards on combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In July the Council of Europe's Moneyval department said in a report that the Holy See had made progress on financial transparency, but added that more reforms were needed and gave it positive grades in nine of 16 areas. The question of financial transparency in the Vatican is a delicate one. The Holy See has denied speculation that the former head of the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was ousted in May over internal divisions concerning efforts to attain international transparency standards.