Preparations in Madrid for the impending visit of
Pope Benedict XVI have been marred by protests among locals at the vast
sums of money being spent on the event.
The Pope's visit this week might be expected to meet with universal acclaim in
a traditionally Catholic country. But with half a million pilgrims expected
in Madrid, many are angry at the use of public funding and tax breaks to
help finance a religious celebration during an economic crisis. While the
authorities have been reluctant to release the figures, some estimate the
activities could cost between €50m and €100m.
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