Sabato, 15 Dicembre 2018
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EU pressures Italy to make Catholic Church pay property tax


(ANSA) - Brussels, October 8 - The EU is holding Italy's
feet to the fire to make the Catholic Church pay property tax.
Sources serving EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia
said on Monday that an infraction case remains open against
Italy for failing to address property-tax exemptions enjoyed by
the Church.
The EU made its position known after Italy's highest
administrative court, the Council of State, scuppered a decree
by the Italian government intended to resolve the issue of the
Church not having to pay the tax, which earlier this year
reappeared in a new form called IMU.
In February, Italy's technical government, led by Premier
Mario Monti, formulated an amendment to Italian property-tax law
that would terminate the Catholic Church's historic exemption.
The amendment was intended to close an inquiry made by EU
anti-trust authorities dating back to 2007, and reopened in 2010
after complaints filed by Maurizio Turco, a representative of
Italy's civil liberties-oriented Radical Party, and the tax
expert Carlo Pontesilli, who turned to the European Court to
prevent the case from being archived.
The EU holds that tax breaks received by the Catholic
Church could be considered illegal state financial aid.
The EU's antitrust authority had praised the February
decree - now blocked - as "significant progress".
Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli, however, responded to
Monday's Council of State ruling by saying that the government
was determined "to subject all subjects" to IMU.

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