According to the press service of the Alfa-Bank of Moscow, the bank has announced the pending issue of international MasterCard Mass and MasterCard Gold credit cards, accounts in the euros. When the new cards are used in member countries of the European Union, no recalculation of amounts from the Russian rubles into the euros will be needed, which will save users conversion fees. The new Alfa Bank's cards will be also used in Russia without limit.
The press service also noted that the first plastic card had been issued by the bank in May 1994. Alfa Bank has the status of a Principal Member with the VISA (since 1966) and Europay (since 1994) systems and that of sub-licensee with the Diners Club and American Express (since 1999). The bank is among Russia's three leading financial institutions. The cards are issued by the Alfa Bank's own processing centre. Over 340,000 cards have been issued as of January 1, this year.
The Alfa-Bank of Moscow was chartered in January 1991 and now carries N1326 general license dated January 29, 1998.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.