8 Jul 2017
Pope Francis told his interviewer, the Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, that he was worried about the G20 summit, which brings together leaders from 20 of the largest economies in the world, along with finance ministers and central bank governors.
“I’m afraid that there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Putin and Assad in the war in Syria,” Francis reportedly said.
The Pope said that his greatest concern was the “danger for immigration.”
“As you know well, the main problem in today’s world—which is unfortunately growing—is that of the poor, the weak, and the excluded,” Francis said, “of which immigrants form part.”
“On the other hand there are countries where the majority of the poor do not come from migratory flows but from social disasters; others have few local poor but fear the invasion of migrants,” he continued.
“That’s why the G20 worries me: it primarily affects immigrants from countries all over the world and affects them even more as time goes on.”
Asked for his views on underlying causes driving mass migration, Francis said that the primary reason behind contemporary migration is economic.
“Make no mistake, poor nations are drawn to the continents and countries of ancient wealth,” he said, “especially Europe.”
“Colonialism began in Europe. There were positive aspects of colonialism, but also negative. Nonetheless, Europe grew richer, the richest in the world. It will therefore be the main target of migratory peoples,” he said.
In the interview, Scalfari expressed his own opinion to the Pope regarding the future of Europe, stressing the need for Europe to take on a federal structure, an opinion shared by the pontiff.
European nations will move “if they realize one truth,” Francis said, “either Europe becomes a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world.”
Since his election as Pope, Francis has granted a number of interviews to Scalfari, an atheist and co-founder of the Italian daily, La Repubblica. The journalist allegedly does not record their conversations but publishes the interviews from memory.
Nevertheless, to date the Pope has never taken back anything that Scalfari has written, and nor has he stopped granting him interviews, which had led observers to conclude that he is pleased with what Scalfari writes.