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 PW), Zaklady Chemiczne Police SA (PCE PW) and Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy SA (ZAP PW) 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