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Pope to host Argentine talks to ease country's economic woes
13 February 2014 14:28 by Isabel de Bertodano

Pope Francis is reportedly preparing to convene crisis talks between representatives of the Argentine president, union bosses and business leaders, as the country slides into financial turmoil.

The meeting, which would be held at the Vatican, would involve the country’s minister for Labour, Carlos Tomada, as well as the president of the powerful Argentine Industrial Union among others, according to La Nacion newspaper.

The Pope is understood to be deeply concerned about the situation in his native Argentina, where inflation is perilously high.

Some commentators have compared the current situation to the months leading up to the financial collapse of 2002, which brought the country to its knees. Sources close to Francis told La Nacion that the intention of the meeting, thought to be scheduled for 19 March, was to signal unity ahead of scheduled pay negotiations between unions and the Government.

There was no official confirmation of the meeting and a journalist on the newspaper Cronica, Alicia Barrios, said that she had spoken to Francis, who told her he had nothing in his diary for that day. However, the secretary general of the construction union, Uocra, Gerardo Martinez confirmed to La Nacion that he had been invited.