Australian TV had little to say about the very successful World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid. It did show a group of kissing homosexual men (not youth) and another group of people protesting about the high cost of the WYD to the Spanish Government in these times of austerity. The Spanish Government denied these claims and L'Osservatore Romano (2 September 2011) published the facts and figures.
The WYD cost 50.5 million euros. Of this, the participants contributed 31.5 milllion (62%), the sponsors 16.5 million (33%) and donations 2.4 million (5%). Thus the Spanish taxpayer did not contribute a cent for this great gathering of 1.5 million happy young people.
The expenses: 12.5 million euros went for the renting of the "Plaza de Cibeles" and the "Cuatro Vientos Airport" for the big gatherings. The General Secretariat and the welcoming of the pilgrims cost 5.5 million, the pilgrim-sacks cost 4.8 million, the putting up of the infrastructures 7.8 million, the cultural programs 4.2 million, advertising 2.6 million, security 1.3 million, and board and lodgings for the volunteers 4 million.
During the days of the WYD the hotels, restaurants and shops earned more than 100 million euro. Indeed, WYD was exceeding good business for Spain!
FR EDWARD P. EVANS
Chaplain to the German Catholic Community of Canberra