Pope John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church’s biggest saint-maker, was elevated within a step of sainthood himself in a beatification ceremony yesterday led by his successor, Benedict XVI.
City authorities said more than 1 million pilgrims, tourists and Italians packed St. Peter’s Square and piazzas in central Rome to watch Benedict pronounce his Polish-born mentor worthy of veneration by the world’s billion Catholics by declaring him “blessed,” the penultimate step to sainthood.
ALL TIMES CET
WHAT TO WATCH: * Poland’s Foreign Ministry will release a statement reacting to yesterday’s killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by a team of U.S. operatives, Marcin Bosacki, a spokesman for the ministry, told TVN24 television today. * The European Central Bank may step up its fight against inflation as up to a third of its Governing Council is replaced this year under the likely leadership of Mario Draghi, say economists at Citigroup and Societe Generale. * ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speak at the inauguration of new Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann at 11 a.m. in Frankfurt.
EQUITY MOVERS: * Poland plans to restart sales of its largest chemical producers Azoty Tarnow SA (ATT PW), Ciech SA (CIE) , Zaklady Chemiczne Police SA (PCE) and Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy SA (ZAP) at the end of the third quarter, the Treasury Ministry said in a statement on April 29.
MARKETS: * The benchmark WIG20 stock index fell 0.7 percent to 2,913.13 * The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.3 percent. * The zloty weakened to 3.9422 per euro from 3.9290 at 7:42 a.m. * The yield on government debt maturing in October 2020 rose to 6.144 percent from 6.143 percent.
TV HIGHLIGHTS: Selected Bloomberg TV guests, all times in CET: 7:40 a.m. * Christian Gattiker, Julius Baer, head of research * 8:10 a.m. Carsten Brzeski, ING Belgium, chief economist * 9:10 a.m. Phillippe D’Arvisenet, BNP Paribas, global chief economist * 10:10 a.m. Jean-Michel Six, S&P, chief European economist
To contact the editor responsible for this story: David McQuaid in Warsaw email@example.com