Thursday, March 27, 2014

Italie: Obama vient "écouter la pensée précieuse" du pape / Obama meets 'inspiration' Pope to discuss inequality

"Je viens à Rome pour écouter le pape: sa pensée est précieuse pour comprendre comment remporter le défi contre la pauvreté", a déclaré le président américain Barack Obama dans une interview au journal Corriere della Sera dont des extraits ont été diffusés mercredi soir, peu après son arrivée en Italie.

"Le pape nous met au défi. Il nous implore de nous souvenir des gens, des familles, des pauvres", a poursuivi M. Obama, en soulignant que le pontife "nous invite à nous arrêter pour réfléchir à la dignité de l'homme".

Le président américain a aussi dit vouloir entendre ce que le pape a à proposer "pour limiter les inégalités dans la distribution des revenus". "En nous mettant constamment au pied du mur sur la justice sociale, il nous montre le risque qu'il y a à s'habituer aux inégalités extrêmes au point de les trouver normales", a expliqué le président américain dans les extraits diffusés sur le site d'un entretien réalisé quand il se trouvait à Bruxelles.
Dans l'interview, il évoque aussi le volet italien de sa visite avec ses rencontres prévues avec le président Giorgio Napolitano, 88 ans, qu'il apprécie beaucoup, et le Premier ministre Matteo Renzi, en place depuis un mois.
Il a souhaité une accélération des négociations pour un accord de libre échange entre Etats-Unis et Union européenne pendant le semestre de présidence italienne de l'Europe.........
  • Obama meets 'inspiration' Pope to discuss inequality

Barack Obama held a historic first meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday to discuss a shared agenda of fighting global inequality despite wide differences over issues like gay rights and contraception.
Obama told Francis he was a "great admirer" at the start of their talks at the Vatican, which political observers said could be a bid to boost the US president's support at home among Catholic voters.
Obama was accompanied by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the delegation was led through the Apostolic Palace to the pope's study by Swiss Guards and ceremonial aides known as Papal Gentlemen.
The first African-American US president spoke of the first pope from Latin America as an "inspiration" in an interview with the Corriere della Sera daily.
"The Holy Father has been an inspiration to people around the world, including me," Obama said, adding however: "It doesn't mean we agree on every issue".
The meeting comes as a welcome rest-stop for Obama during a six-day European tour dominated by the crisis over Crimea, and the US leader will doubtless be hoping some of the pope's stardom will rub off on him.
Obama is "mostly going I think to bask in the glow of the new pope," said Jeremy Shapiro, visiting fellow at Washington's Brookings institute.
His main aim will be "to highlight their sort of mutual attention to the problems of poverty and inequality. This isn't really a foreign policy stop," he said.
Ahead of the meeting, Francis celebrated mass for a group of 500 Italian politicians in which he warned them against becoming "hard-hearted" and "corrupt".
Obama will also meet new Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi -- the European Union's youngest government leader -- and President Giorgio Napolitano, as well as going on a private guided tour of the Colosseum.
Diplomatic relations between Italy and the United States are close, though Rome has been cautious about imposing sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, amid fears it would take a toll on a key market.
  • Obama in his interview highlighted Italy's "critical role" in the Mediterranean region, praising Renzi for visiting Tunisia on his first foreign trip and saying Washington and Rome were collaborating to rebuild Libya.

Obama earlier this month said his calls for tax hikes on the rich and curbs on abuses by big banks had a strong moral grounding -- in an election-year swipe at Republicans and echoing the pope's rallying cry for action to curb growing inequality around the world.
However, Vatican experts say the relationship is not as cosy as it once was between pope Jean Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and Francis is unlikely to refrain from tackling Obama on his domestic and foreign policy.
Vatican expert John Allen wrote in the Boston Globe that the Obama administration would like to create "the impression of a grand alliance on behalf of the world's poor... both as part of his eventual legacy and with an eye towards the mid-term elections looming this fall".
  • But he pointed to "contrasts" and "sharp differences" and said that "a deep partnership between the two leaders... may not be in the cards".
The pontiff spoke out strongly against a proposed military intervention by the US in Syria last year, organising a mass prayer vigil at the Vatican.
US Catholic leaders have also repeatedly challenged Obama's signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it violates religious freedom by requiring for-profit corporations to provide insurance for contraception.
Controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act and Obama's drop in popularity risk resulting in a Republican victory in the upcoming Senate election, which would dramatically weaken the US leader for his remaining two years in power.
Words of support from Francis would certainly boost his case: a survey by Saint-Leo University found Francis was popular with 85 percent of Catholics and 63 percent of Americans.
A survey published last month by CBS News and the New York Times meanwhile put Obama's approval rating at just 41 percent.


1 comment :

  1. "Soy un gran admirador suyo", le dijo Obama al papa Francisco...

    En el encuentro "cordial", según lo definió la Santa Sede, Francisco y Obama mantuvieron un "intercambio de visiones" sobre la actualidad internacional, y se auspició "para las áreas en conflicto el respeto al derecho humanitario".

    También hablaron del "respeto al derecho internacional y una solución negociada entre las partes involucradas", así como
    "el ejercicio de los derechos a la libertad religiosa, a la vida y a la objeción de conciencia, así como el tema de la reforma migratoria", según indicó un comunicado de la sala de prensa vaticana.

    Asimismo, ambos líderes expresaron el "común empeño para la erradicación de la trata de seres humanos en el mundo".

    Con la sola presencia de los dos traductores oficiales y tras los saludos y la entrega de regalos protocolares, Obama y Francisco se dieron un largo apretón de manos, aunque el papa argentino siempre mantuvo un semblante serio............


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