Vatican buys 500 packets of cigarettes a month

Vatican buys 500 packets of cigarettes a month
500 packets of cigarettes are supplied each month to the Vatican. Phots: Cigarettes: Shutterstock
Five hundred packets of cigarettes are supplied to the Vatican each month, while cardinals also receive coupons for petrol, according to details written in a letter to the Vatican's economy chief.

Two hundred of the cigarette packets come with a 20 percent discount, while cardinals also enjoy a 15 percent discount at the supermarket within Vatican City, La Repubblica reported. 

The details emerged in a letter written by the Vatican Governorate’s Secretary General, Father Fernando Vergez Alzaga, to Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was appointed to oversee the Vatican's budget in February as part of Pope Francis' plans to cleans up its finances.

The letter, published in La Repubblica, was written on March 26th.

It read: “Your Most Reverend Eminence…I give you my warmest congratulations on your appointment as prefect for the economy. At the same time, I have the honour to inform Your Eminence of the following facilities provided to Cardinals.”

The newspaper reported that some within the Vatican say the cigarettes and petrol are just “a small benefit” for the Cardinals, who usually give the cigarettes to those who can’t afford them, while others claim to have never requested a packet of cigarettes or petrol.

On top of the discounts, no excise duty or VAT is paid on items bought by the Vatican.

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