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Vatican denies risk of default over structural deficit

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — A top Vatican administrator is denying the Holy See risks default over its structural deficit, saying claims in a new book about possible financial ruin are overblown.

Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, president of the office that manages the Vatican's real estate and other assets, told the Avvenire newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference Tuesday that all that is needed is a "spending review" to bring down costs.

Galantino was responding to a new book, "Universal Judgment" by Italian author Gianluigi Nuzzi, that has only added fuel to concern about the Vatican's financial health.

It was published Monday amid a new financial scandal that has engulfed the Vatican, after gendarmes raided the secretariat of state and financial intelligence unit and seized documentation about a problematic 150 million-euro London real estate venture.

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