Pope Francis meets with Alexis Tsipras - The Vatican, Rome, September 18
STATEMENT BY TSIPRAS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THEIR MEETING
In our meeting with Pope Francis today -who is often referred to as “The Pope of the Poor”- we had the opportunity to discuss the economic crisis, as well as the crisis in human values. To discuss the need for politics to re-inspire people in values which are collective, universal and substantive instead of the currently pre-dominant values of profit and material consumption.
We discussed the need for peace to return on earth, for the immediate cease of war interventions, the need for solidarity’s rehabilitation as a value, and the need to speak about the significance of making sure that people always count more than profits.
We pleaded with him to continue struggling against poverty and to speak in behalf of the dignity of humans as well as the structural causes behind poverty which are the inequality in the distribution of wealth and the rampant behavior of the financial markets.
We asked him to take an international initiative for the termination of conflicts in the Middle East and the Ukraine; we discussed the issue of migration, that enormous plague of our times, and the need for a revision of the European migration policy which generates humanitarian crises in the Mediterranean.
I brought to him the true picture of Greece, a country that after four years of an unjust policy of austerity continues to sink inside the crisis a crisis assuming the proportions of a humanitarian disaster. And I explained to him that what happened was implemented in order to save banks not humans. In addition, I told him that the majority of the Greek people, and I personally, are determined to put an end to this policy, something which necessitates the support of broader forces across Europe.
Finally, we agreed that the dialogue between the Left and the Christian Church must go on. We may have different ideological starting points; however, we converge on common values, like solidarity, love for the fellow Human being, social justice, and our concern regarding world peace.