Monday, 13 July 2015

Pope Francis and the Greek deal? UPDATED

Speaking to a meeting of popular organisations during his visit to South America, Pope Francis observed of the work of those organisations:
The first task is to put the economy at the service of peoples. Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.
And cf this passage from Laudato Si, n.189:
Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery.
I wonder whether the recently agreed Greek bailout deal measures up to this criterion?

UPDATE: When Pope Francis was asked about exactly this during his return flight to Rome, he gave a somewhat inconclusive answer as far as the Greek context was concerned, though I add emphasis to the last sentence as it perhaps indicates His Holiness' essential stance:
Certainly, it would be all too simple to say that the fault is only on one side. If the Greek government has brought forward this situation of international debt, also they have a responsibility. With the new Greek government we see a revision and it’s a bit right ... I hope that they find a way to resolve the Greek problem and also a way to have oversight so that the same problem will not fall on other countries. And this will help us move forward because that road of loans and debts, in the end, it never ends.

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