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Business

Berlin's Catholic Diocese Bankrupt

The economic woes of Germany have not spared Berlin's struggling Roman Catholic community. The capital's diocese, which takes in Berlin, the surrounding state of Brandenburg and parts of northeast Germany, is broke due to financial miscalculations, over-ambition and a depressed economy which have combined to stretch its finances beyond breaking point, according to the AFP news agency. This year's budget is projected to run to a €13 million deficit and the church plans to cut 400 jobs, including 55 on the pastoral side such as priests, scrap holiday and Christmas pay, and sell property in a bid to make up the shortfall. Additionally, any spending above €1000 ($1,090) must be approved in advance. The diocese also owes banks and credit institutions €126 million while its pension fund has a shortfall of €22 million.