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Rome Reports

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Italian Primer Minister to Pope: I will keep Evangelii Gaudium on my desk

Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, paid a quick visit to the Vatican, along with his wife and their three children. Archbishop, Georg Ganswein welcomed them at the Apostolic Palace before. The Italian prime minister seemed quite relaxed. He joked around throughout the meeting, even when he was with the Pope.  "I'm happy, because the last time we met, you gave me permission to skip the protocol... I hate it when I do it wrong.â? "It's OK. Not a problem.â? They met for about half an hour. Among the topics they discussed were the economic crisis in Italy, the country's youth unemployment rate and the instability in the Middle East.  After their private meeting, Renzi introduced his family to the Pope, along with some members of his cabinet. Jokes continued all around.  "They have nine children.â? "Nine children! You won the competition.â? As a gift, Renzi gave the Pope a case with four bottles of Chianti wine from Tuscany.  "For Mass...and more.â? In return, the Pope gave him a medallion of the Angel of Peace and a copy of his apostolic exhortation, 'Evangelii Gaudium.' "I'll keep this...let's say, at my desk.â?  A day after Renzi's meeting with the Pope,  there was a massive employee strike throughout Italy. It was led by opponents of his economic reforms. This marks the fourth meeting between the Pope and Matteo Renzi, two of those meetings have taken place in the Vatican.  PM/KLH  CTV VM -BN Up: MPI