Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Pope calls for more solidarity among European Union countries

Pope Benedict XVI attends an audience with foreign ambassadors to the Holy See at the VaticanEuropean Union countries should help each other overcome their economic and financial troubles and tackle social crises, Pope Benedict XVI said Monday, in a message likely to resonate in his native Germany.

As the strongest economy in the bloc, Germany is often urged to provide more help to its weaker peers. It is paying the lion share of bailouts for Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, but it is resisting further moves towards eurozone debt mutualization.

Without singling out nations, the pontiff said in a New Year address to Vatican ambassadors that while "certain countries may perhaps advance more quickly" on their own, by acting together the European Union "will certainly go further."

The leader of the Catholic Church also said that the bloc needed "farsighted representatives capable of making the difficult choices necessary to rectify its economy and to lay solid foundations for growth."

Benedict called on politicians to concentrate not only on reducing so-called financial spreads - risk differentials between benchmark German debt and that of other EU countries - but also work to mitigate social inequalities.

"The increasing differences between those few who grow ever richer and the many who grow hopelessly poorer, should be a cause for dismay. In a word, it is a question of refusing to be resigned to a ‘spread‘ in social well-being, while at the same time fighting one in the financial sector," he said.

No comments: