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Frugal pope nixes election bonus for Vatican employees, Holy See cites tough economic times

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VATICAN CITY - The global economic crisis is hitting Vatican employees in their cassock pockets.

The Vatican said Thursday that Pope Francis, known for his frugal ways, had decided Vatican employees won't be getting the bonus that traditionally comes with the election of a new pope.

In the past, the Vatican's 4,500-plus workers — both religious and lay — would get an extra little something upon the death of one pope and another upon the election of his successor: In 2005, the total reportedly came to 1,500 euros (nearly $2,000) apiece.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that given tough economic times — the Vatican posted a 15 million-euro deficit in 2011 — "it didn't seem possible or appropriate to burden the Vatican's budget with a considerable, unforeseen extra expense."

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