May 18 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Pope Francis at the Vatican and holds unusually long talks with the pontiff. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Pope Francis on Saturday and calls for stronger regulation of financial markets to counter the problems that have rocked the global economy. Merkel made a lightning visit to Rome specifically to meet the pontiff and spoke with him privately in his library for 45 minutes, unusually long for a private papal audience. Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, said she and Francis had spoken mainly about globalisation and the role of Europe in the world. On Thursday, Francis issued a strong call for world financial reform, condemning a heartless "dictatorship of the economy" and saying the economic crisis had made life worse for millions in rich and poor countries. In his first major speech about finance since his election in March, he also urged states to take greater control of their economies and protect the weakest. Merkel gave Francis, who lived briefly in Germany when he was a Jesuit priest, three volumes of poetry by Friedrich and a box set of music by German conductor and composer Wilhelm Furtwaengler.