19 May 2013

Chancellor Merkel and pope meet at Vatican

9:38 am on 19 May 2013

Social justice and poverty were discussed when Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had talks with Pope Francis on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Pope said in a speech that the global economic crisis had made life worse for millions in rich and poor countries.

Afterwards their meeting at the Vatican, Mrs Merkel said:

"Crises have blown up because the rules of the social market have not been observed... It is true that economies are there to serve people and that has by no means always been the case in recent years."

Mrs Merkel said she and Pope Francis had spoken mainly about globalisation, the European Union and the role of Europe in the world.

"Pope Francis made it clear that we need a strong, fair Europe and I found the message very encouraging," she added.

Mrs Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She visited Rome specifically to meet the pontiff and spoke with him privately in his library for 45 minutes