Vatican Urges More Jobs, Less Service Cuts

While there are signs of recovery in the global economy, structural flaws in the system are preventing the creation of new jobs worldwide, said a Vatican diplomat. The ripple effects of widespread unemployment negatively influence the quality of society in all economies across the world, from the most advanced to the underdeveloped, said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva. Speaking June 8 at the U.N. International Labor Conference in Geneva, Archbishop Tomasi urged that all involved in "the burgeoning and mercurial global economic system" work to foster fundamental principles that ensure respect for the common good and protection of the most vulnerable. He said the protracted economic downturn has caused social safety nets to be stretched to the breaking point, while austerity programs put in place in response to diminishing public budgets often cut services that affect children, the elderly and weaker members of society. Although the world economy is growing and some indicators show it returning to pre-crisis levels, the archbishop said, "It is not able to create a sufficient number of jobs." This is a problem in poor and developed countries alike, but even in growing, emerging economies like China and India, he said. "Old formulas for recovery and economic growth are proving less certain in a globally integrated economic environment," he said, adding that governments have not been able to come up with a form of growth that restores jobs lost and creates new ones.

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