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Pope Francis and Merkel talk economics: ‘rules of the social market have not been observed”

Monday, May 20th 2013 - 07:09 UTC
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Merkel wants stronger regulation of financial markets Merkel wants stronger regulation of financial markets

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Pope Francis and, apparently responding to his criticism of a heartless “dictatorship of the economy” and the “cult of money”, called for stronger regulation of financial markets.

On Thursday, Francis appealed in a speech for world financial reform, saying the global economic crisis had made life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.

Merkel visited Rome for a few hours specifically to meet the pontiff and spoke with him privately in his library for 45 minutes, unusually long for a private papal audience. She told reporters afterwards that the scandals and excesses criticised by Francis earlier in the week showed that vital checks and balances had not been functioning properly.

“Crises have blown up because the rules of the social market have not been observed,” she said, adding that tightening financial market regulation would be a main objective of the meeting of leaders of Group of 20 economic powers in September.

“We have made progress but we are nowhere near a point where we could say that the kind of derailment that leads to market crises could not happen again and so the issue will again play a central role at the G20 meeting this year,” she said.

“It is true that economies are there to serve people and that has by no means always been the case in recent years.”

Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, said she and Francis had spoken mainly about globalisation, the European Union and the role of Europe in the world.

“Pope Francis made it clear that we need a strong, fair Europe and I found the message very encouraging,” said Merkel, head of the Christian Democratic Union, which has a strong Catholic component.

In his first major speech about finance since his election in March, Francis had also urged states to take greater control of their economies and protect the weakest.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany before the country was re-unified, said both she and Francis had “lived under dictatorships”, referring to the military junta that ruled the pope's native Argentina from 1976 to 1983.

Merkel gave Francis, who lived briefly in Germany when he was a Jesuit priest, three volumes of poetry by Friedrich Hölderlin and 107 CDs of music by German conductor and composer Wilhelm Furtwaengler.

“I don't know if you will have the time to listen to all of them,” she joked as she gave him the music.
 

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Think

    Geeeeeeeee.........
    I'm starting to like this guy......

    May 20th, 2013 - 08:00 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1 “Francis appealed in a speech for world financial reform, saying the global economic crisis had made life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.”

    It seems likely that one of the first “reforms” will be making dishonest “states” pay their debts. In real money. Not the toilet paper they use in bartering.

    May 20th, 2013 - 08:58 am 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Pope Francis and, apparently responding to his criticism of a heartless “dictatorship of the economy” and the “cult of money””

    She won't have liked that, given the way she treats the likes of Greece and Cyprus! On the other hand, I can think of another woman world leader who may be warming to him despite a certain history =)

    #1 Me too, though I still think Cristina is the greatest living Argie on the world stage =) I think she said once she wished the Pope could be a woman so she could stand against him (years before he was elected!); now that would be a good reason not to re-run for President =)

    May 20th, 2013 - 06:26 pm 0
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