Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Post-pandemic economic models must change, says Pope


POPE Francis said yesterday that the coronaviru­s pandemic had “toppled the shaky pillars” of a world economic model built on the idolatry of money and domination by the rich and powerful.

In a message to participan­ts of the annual European HouseAmbro­setti Workshop, which gathers some 200 top managers, economists, and politician­s from around the world, he called for new models that would be more inclusive and reduce social inequality.

He also urged “an ecological retooling” of the economy to save the environmen­t and reduce wasteful consumptio­n.

“It (the pandemic) has called into question the scale of values that sets money and power over all else,” he said.

“It has toppled the shaky pillars that supported a certain model of developmen­t,” he said, adding that social and economic uncertaint­ies had made many people open their eyes to inequality and environmen­tal blight.

He said economics should be the expression of a society that “refuses to sacrifice human dignity to the idols of finance (and) uses financial resources not to dominate but to serve”.

Francis, who has said any eventual Covid-19 vaccine must not be hoarded by rich countries, is believed to be preparing an encyclical letter – the highest form of papal writing – on what he believes the post-pandemic

world should look like.

The annual event, in the northern lakeside town of Cernobbio, is Italy’s version of the annual Davos Economic Forum in Switzerlan­d.

This year, it is taking place mostly virtually because of the pandemic.

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Pope Francis

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