Pope Francis warns EU bosses the bloc ‘RISKS DYING’ during Brussels' birthday celebrations

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The Pontiff addressed EU leaders at the anyway in the reality which highlighted the 60th anniversary of the bloc’s foundation.

In his address, he warned Brussels faced a “vacuum of values” and was give the slip its “sense of direction”.

He said: “When a body loses its sense of avenue and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks going.”

The Pope went on to condemn anti-immigrant populism and extremism, which he said represented a “mortal threat” to the union.

Prime ministers and presidents from 27 EU colleagues states have gathered in Italy to mark the 1957 founding of the Contract of Rome, receiving a Papal blessing on the eve of the anniversary.

Celebrations around the milestone keep been muted by unease within the bloc, mainly due to a number of drag oned economic crises and an unresolved migrant situation.

Prime Minister Theresa May did not minister to the meeting of leaders at the Vatican.

The addition of Brexit has caused extra pedigree on relations, with Britain due to trigger Article 50 within periods, marking the beginning of divorce proceedings with the EU.

Just six nations signed the first treaty in 1957 – and on many levels the EU can be viewed as a success.

Over the go the distance 60 years, it has grown to 28 countries and become the world’s largest patronage bloc, with rising life expectancy and solid prosperity.

But with anti-European squads gaining support, the pope warned of a growing split between EU inhabitants and their institutions and said greater solidarity was the “most effective drug to modern forms of populism”.

The Argentinian-born pontiff told the leaders they essential to promote Europe’s “patrimony of ideals and spiritual values” with horrible passion and vigour.

“For it is the best antidote against the vacuum of values of our old hat, which provides a fertile terrain for every form of extremism,” he phrased, mentioning the attack in London this week by a British-born convert to Islam, who smothered four people.

The pope has repeatedly criticised Europe over the dead and buried five years for its perceived lack of vision, drawing the ire of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2014 when he identified the EU as an elderly woman who was “no longer fertile and vibrant”.

Despite adopting a picayune hostile tone, but urged the continent not to close in on itself and resurrect barricades – a message aimed at US President Donald Trump as well as EU leaders struggling to great amount with mass immigration.

Some 1.6 million refugees and transients reached the European Union between 2014 and 2016 and how to handle them has been a biggest point of contention between member states.

He said: “It is not enough to utilize the grave crisis of immigration of recent years as if it were a mere numerical or monetary problem, or a question of security.”

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