Vatican City's new financial consultant on Tuesday praised its efforts to combat money laundering and improve the transparency of its financial sector.
"My task is to provide advice and support to the Vatican in its efforts to combat money laundering, organized crime and financing terrorism," said Swiss lawyer Rene' Bruelhart, 40, in an interview with Vatican Radio.
"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".
Though stressing that Vatican City is not a financial centre, the former director of Liechtenstein's Financial Intelligence Unit acknowledged that "financial transactions are carried out here...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 within the framework of globally adopted international standards," he added.
These, continued Bruelhart, "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 an active reality.
"In other words: it is important to find a way to make them work, especially in the long term. Without a doubt, this will be one of the aspects of my job".