Pope meets Argentina president amid debt crisis, says work for peace

Pope Francis meets Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez during a private audience at the Vatican
Pope Francis reads a prayer for Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez and his partner Fabiola Yanez during a private audience at the Vatican, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/Pool

Pope Francis met Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Friday. The Pope asked him to be a messenger of peace in their common homeland. Argentina is currently going through a period fighting rampant inflation, credit default fears and rising poverty. 

Fernandez, who was sworn in last month, met Francis privately for about 45 minutes in the papal library.

“This is what I want for you – to be messengers of peace,” Francis told Fernandez and his wife, Fabiola Yanez at the end of the session.

Fernandez shares many of the pope’s ideas on social justice and quoted the pontiff repeatedly in his inaugural address last month. 

The 60-year-old centre-left politician has promised to bridge social divisions. He also promised to roll out a massive credit system with low rates. This is aimed to bolster domestic demand and to boost spending to address hunger and poverty.