(Vatican Radio) – Two weeks into his new job as a financial consultant to the Vatican,
40-year-old Swiss lawyer, Rene Bruelhart speaks to Vatican Radio about
the task that lies ahead.
Appointed to advise Vatican City State on "all matters
related to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism", formerly
Bruelhart was the director of Liechtenstein's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
was hired as part of the Vatican’s "clear commitment" to respond to recommendations
of a report by Moneyval, a department of the Council of Europe, which was made public
on July 18. Emer McCarthy reports Listen:
- You have been at the Vatican since the beginning of September. Could you briefly
explain what your job here at the Vatican is?
A. - Zeil und Zweck meiner
Aufgabe ist, den Vatikan in seinen Bemühungen ... My task is to provide advice
and support to the Vatican in its efforts to combat money laundering, organized crime
and the financing of terrorism. I started this job less than two weeks ago and so
much depends on how the situation evolves. I found structures that, within certain
limits, work very well. The Vatican’s efforts, especially in the last two years, have
been intense and its commitments wideranging. Given the mid-June report from the European
Commission of Examination which carefully evaluated the Vatican’s situation, it must
be recognized that this is a work in progress and that we will continue on this path.
– How different is your work here in the Vatican, to your experience in other countries?
Is there any difference at all?
R. - Ich denke es gibt verschiedene Unterschiede.
... I think there are many differences. It is a State like others, even though
there may be differences in its structures. But I think the main difference in the
Vatican’s case, is the fact that when you work for another country, or a financial
market, ultimately you are working for its reputation. In our case, it is certainly
an important reputation, but what counts most is the "greater good." In fact, if we
consider the function and the position of the Holy See at a global level - its importance
and the question of moral responsibility that is at issue here - I believe that our
task goes a lot further.
Q. - How is the Vatican perceived in the international
A. - Der Vatikan ist kein Finanzcenter: Ich glaube, das
muss man hier mal ... The Vatican is not a financial center: I think we have to
state this quite clearly, once and for all. Even though some media claim otherwise,
along with all the "myths" that are passed off as true: this is, to an extent, the
nature of the media... I prefer to speak with the facts, and it is a fact that the
Vatican is not a financial center. What is a fact, however, is that financial transactions
are carried out here in the Vatican, albeit in quite a clear context. And it is also
a fact that in recent years structures have been created to combat abuse. Now we have
to strengthen these structures.
Q. – Regarding the norms: there are laws
which must be adopted? Perhaps this is not very well known ...
A. - Es
gibt and International Standards, global angewendet werden die, die klar ... There
are the globally adopted International Standards, which clearly outline the necessary
structures and requirements, how international and national cooperation between the
various authorities must take place ... In this context, there are basic conditions.
What is crucial is that these do not simply become a formal act, but a active reality.
In other words: it is important to find a way to make them work, especially in the
long term. Without doubt, this will be one of the aspects of my job.