WYD to cost Spanish taxpayers nothing

Responding to protests in Spain that Spanish taxpayers will be footing the bill for World Youth Day, the Vatican has released a statement saying that all costs will be absorbed by participants and corporate sponsors.

The Vatican acknowledged there will be some indirect costs to the country such as security and traffic control, but it expected the 1.5 million visitors to Spain will generate considerable additional revenue for the economy during their week-long visit.

“The event will not cost anything” for Spain, it said, “The burden will fall on the church, the pilgrims, and private donors,” it added, citing Spanish Government Spokesman Jose Blanco.

Meanwhile, the Independent Catholic News has published financial data for World Youth Day 2011, showing the event to be completely self-financed.

“The cost is covered in full by pilgrim registrations (70%) and donations (30%). No contribution has been made towards World Youth Day by the Spanish government or the local councils in Madrid. World Youth Day costs the Spanish tax-payer nothing, while it has been estimated that World Youth Day will contribute in excess of 100 million Euros to the Spanish economy,” the report stated.

The Spanish leftist union CGT estimated that the real cost to taxpayers is around 100 million euros and Priests from Madrid’s poorest parishes have criticised the cost of Pope Benedict’s visit to Madrid for World Youth Day.


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