Major Renovations, Economy Put Vatican in the Red

Major renovations, infrastructure upgrades and a sluggish global economy left the Vatican City State budget in the red; however, donations to the pope were up from recent years. The 2009 fiscal period marked the third year in a row that Vatican expenses outpaced revenues. The budget of Vatican City State, which includes the Vatican Museums and post office, ended 2009 with a deficit of $9.8 million, the Vatican said in notes on the budgets released July 10. The separate budget of the Holy See, which includes the offices of the Roman Curia, finished 2009 with a registered deficit of more than $5.15 million. The figures were released in early July after a three-day meeting of a council of cardinals charged with reviewing the Vatican budgets. In explaining the city-state's deficit, the council's press statement mentioned that the Vatican Museums had opened new exhibition spaces and had extended visiting hours, which means the payroll grew. Vatican City is also launching a major overhaul of its telecommunications infrastructure in which a high-speed fiber optic network will be installed over some 250 miles.

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