The positions of the Pope Francis on economics, society and politics are known for their direct condition, critical of speculation and the role of entrepreneurs. The few minutes that the Pontiff presented to the Christian Association of Business Leaders (ACDE) were no exception: “You have to invest, not hide your money in tax havens,” he said in a recorded message that opened the organization’s annual meeting which brings together large national and foreign firms and is chaired by food businessmen Gonzalo Tanoira.

In that same tone, the Pope pondered the role of small and medium enterprises, questioned finances and asked for more production and work. All in an event in which there were positions of some participants who spoke of the business and economic situation in opposite terms to the papal proposals.

“The Christian view of the economy and society is different from the pagan, ideological view. And the construction of an economically and socially just community has to be done by everyone, trade unionists and businessmen, workers and leaders, ”Francis started from the Vatican. And added that “We have to go down the path of the social economy. Let’s face it, the economy in recent decades begat finance. And they are at risk of ending up like the chain in San Antonio, which we believe there is a lot and nothing. An inflation of media businesses. We must return to the economy of the concrete. And the concrete is the production, the work, the families, the homeland the concrete ”.

Then, in a message that lasted almost five minutes, Francisco asserted that “in a society where there are margins of poverty very big, one has to wonder if the economy is fair or social, or seeks personal interests. The economy is social. To generate employment, the power of SMEs is important, because creativity always comes from below. The pandemic led us to this, where there is a lack of employment ”.

Then he faced the most stark critic of the establishment. “You have to invest in the common good,” he explained, “not hide the money in tax havens. Know how to invest, not hide. You hide when you do not have a clear conscience, or when you are angry. We all know, what is said in the field that when the cow does not give the milk something will have happened to it that hides the milk. When we hide, it is because something is malfunctioning. Clarity, transparency and production… invest ”. Finally, the Pope considered that “it is very difficult to build without social trust. Those big agreements from big companies, big investors, they sign the agreement, and when they are offering they make another agreement under the table. Never betray trust ”.

The reaction of the ceos

The papal words generated more commotion in private chats than in public chats, in an event in which other types of proposals reigned. The most radical, that of the economist of the Austral University Roberto Vassolo, who a while after the Pope assured that “Property rights are practically abolished in Argentina, in the last 20, 30, 40 years each distribution was adding taxes ”. And he added that, for this reason, “this design forces the vast majority of us to navigate with one foot in formality and the other in informality, it goes against the first creative mandate of Genesis. That obligation that companies have to have a foot in informality ”.

To its turn, Jose Urtubey, an industrial leader, referred to Francisco’s sayings and told this newspaper that “it is an invitation to reflection, and I agree. The businessmen have to go to depth in this situation, and that does not exclude that there is a dialogue between the union sector, the employer and the public.


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