Rome

Rating agency Standard Ethics to vet Vatican City

'Global economic and financial activities merit evaluation'

Rating agency Standard Ethics to vet Vatican City

Rome, February 19 - Standard Ethics, which assigns ratings to countries, has added Vatican City to its 2013 roster, to be published on February 21. The Brussels-based agency issues annual corporate-ethics ratings to countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as to additional states, which have been added occasionally, including Argentina, Russia, China and India. The rating applies to the state which hosts the Holy See, as distinct from the church itself. The Vatican will be judged along the same lines as other, traditional states, according to Standard Ethics, although the agency said that such criteria would be adapted to the peculiarities of the case. "The global nature of its financial and economic activities and the profound social and formative impact that (the Vatican) determines on the lives of several communities renders the evaluation and comparison of its system of government with that of other nations of undeniable scientific and statistical interest," Standard Ethics said in a statement announcing the inclusion of the city in its 2013 roster. The Vatican has been mired in allegations of illegal and unethical financial practices for decades, all of which it denies. On Friday the Vatican appointed German banker Ernest von Freyberg as head of the Vatican Bank IOR, replacing Ettore Gotti Tedeschi who was sacked seven months ago amid reported disagreements on moves to get on the UN's white list of states with top credentials against money laundering.

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