The Mosque of Cordoba sold for 30 €.
The Mosque of Cordoba was built between 780 and 785 by Abderraman I. Twelve centuries later, on 2 March 2006, the Catholic Church registered the property in its name in the property register number four of Cordoba (volume 2381, book 155, folio 198). The procedure cost a mere 30 euros. Such a robbery was made possible by two miracles. The first is that, although they belong to all Spaniards, it is enough for the bishop to attest and certify that they belong to the Church, without the need for a notary.
The second miracle is that having a 23,400-metre building in the centre of Cordoba is free for the Church: it does not pay property tax and does not pay for its upkeep.
Entrance to the Mosque of Cordoba costs 8 euros per person; it receives more than a million visitors a year. You are not given an invoice and it is doubtful that the money collected is taxed: it is considered a donation and, as such, is exempt from taxation. The bishopric of Cordoba holds the Mosque as its absolute property.
Access to tourists is closed
It also decides who can work there as a guide and who cannot. Not infrequently, there are days when access is closed to tourists because there is, for example, a priests' convention inside. However, the costs of restoration and conservation are not paid by the Church: they are covered by the State.
Since 1998, the Church has registered hundreds of buildings in its name, many of them financed by the residents of each village or town.
Zapatero did not change the law in eight years; Rubalcaba promised to reform it in his electoral programme. Such abuse is unlikely to be eliminated by the PP but, with any luck, perhaps the European Union will force the government to charge IBI to the Church, as it has done with Italy. It is not a small amount of money. The fact that the Church is exempt from paying some taxes, a medieval privilege, costs us 3 billion euros a year, according to Europa Laica. That's a tenth of the deficit Rajoy has yet to cut.