Page 1, 13th April 2007

13th April 2007
Page 1
Page 1, 13th April 2007 — Vatican workers revel in extra day off

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Vatican workers revel in extra day off


IF ONLY all bosses were the same.

Birthday boy Pope Benedict XVI certainly knows how to endear himself to his staff on his special day. His Holiness has given his Vatican employees an extra day off this weekend to celebrate his 80th birthday on Monday, April 16.

The kindly Pontiff, who must be exhausted after a hectic Holy Week, also gave his underlings the equivalent of E 500 (£330) in cashperhaps to ensure that they were all feeling generous when buying their boss his

birthday present. So can we expect to hear joyous cries of "Buon compleanno, Papa Benedetto" emanating from the Holy Offices on Monday?

No doubt yes, though some cynical journalists have pointed out that in 2005 Pope John Paul 11 awarded his staff a special holiday and €1,000 to mark his 27th anniversary as Pontiff.

Last year, Vatican Radio workers set the bar fairly high for birthday gifts to the Pope when they gave Benedict XVI an iPod Nano, loaded with a selection of classical music.

Those wishing to give the Pope what he always wanted this year will have noticed his fondness for sartorial elegance.

Prada loafers and Serengetti sunglasses he has already, but another pair surely can't do any harm.

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