Pope appoints ex-ECB boss Draghi to prestigious academy of social sciences

by Reuters
Friday, 10 July 2020 13:42 GMT

VATICAN CITY, July 10 (Reuters) - Pope Francis has appointed former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Vatican said on Friday.

The Academy, a think tank established in 1994 as a sister body to the older Pontifical Academy of Sciences, holds regular international symposiums on subjects of social concern such as human trafficking, modern slavery and debt relief.

They are attended by world luminaries in their fields and produce reports which the pope can use to guide him on non-religious issues.

As a member, Draghi, who during his tenure as ECB president was widely credited with saving the euro, will play key roles in choosing topics for conferences and deciding who to invite.

The Academy held a conference in February that brought together more than 25 government officials, religious authorities and economists, including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

The February conference, on the theme of new forms of solidarity, facilitated talks between Georgieva and Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman on the Latin American country's debt crisis.

Stiglitz is also one of the Academy's more than 20 members.

The symposiums are held in the Casina Pio IV, a building nestled in the Vatican Gardens that was built in 1561 as a summer residence for Pope Pius IV.

Draghi, an Italian who once headed the Bank of Italy, stepped down from the ECB last October after an eight-year mandate. (Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by Philip Pullella and Susan Fenton)

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