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Vatican names new director for financial watchdog agency

April 15, 2020

The Vatican has announced the appointment of a new director and deputy director for the Financial Information Authority (AIF), replacing officials whose employment was terminated last year after a shocking police raid on AIF offices.

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, announced on April 15 that Giuseppe Schlitzer—who has served with Italy’s central bank and with the International Monetary Fund—will become director of the AIF. Federico Antellini Rossi will be his deputy.

Schlitzer replaces Tommaso Di Ruzza, who was suspended last October in the wake of a raid on the offices of the AIF and the Secretariat of State. The AIF had given its full backing to the suspended director, saying that his only involvement with a series of suspicious transactions was his bid to investigate them. Di Ruzza’s term as director expired in January, and his employment was not renewed.

Rene Bruelhart, who had been president of the AIF, also left the Vatican’s watchdog agency last October in the wake of the police raid. Vatican officials said that Bruelhart had completed a five-year term; Bruelhart himself said that he had resigned. A member of the AIF board later resigned in protest, saying that the office had become “an empty shell.”

The AIF was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, and charged with responsibility for supervising financial transactions, in a bid to restore international confidence in the Vatican’s financial affairs.

 


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