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Vatican, Government and Economy

Piazza San Pietro, Supreme Tribunal, Castel Gandolfo, extraterritoriality, Swiss Guards

Vatican City is governed by the pope, who has absolute executive, legislative, and judicial powers. The executive powers are delegated to a governor, who is responsible directly to the pope. In the exercise of his legislative powers, the pope is advised and assisted by the Sacred College of Cardinals and by the various Sacred Congregations. The judicial powers are exercised by tribunals; appeals from their decisions are heard by the sacred Roman Rota and by the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature. The Secretariat of State represents the Holy See in diplomatic relations with foreign powers. Swiss Guards maintain internal security and protection of the pope; the Piazza San Pietro is subject to the authority of the Italian police. Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer palace outside Rome, as well as other buildings located in Rome but outside of Vatican City, are endowed with extraterritoriality.

Vatican City has its own currency (equal to the Italian lira) and postal system. It also has a railroad station and radio station, and manages its own telephone and telegraph services. Government expenditures in 1994 were $175 million. A daily newspaper and an official monthly journal are published, as are books and pamphlets in numerous languages. Population (1997 estimate) 850.

Article key phrases:

Piazza San Pietro, Supreme Tribunal, Castel Gandolfo, extraterritoriality, Swiss Guards, Italian lira, judicial powers, executive powers, legislative powers, Government expenditures, foreign powers, Italian police, postal system, diplomatic relations, pope, daily newspaper, railroad station, tribunals, internal security, Rome, radio station, pamphlets, Holy, currency, governor, Vatican City, exercise, authority, buildings, decisions, books, telephone, protection


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