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Pope Benedict and Monti exchange greetings

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI and Italian Premier Mario Monti exchanged greetings by telephone on Monday as the pontiff celebrated his name day and Monti his birthday.

The Vatican said in a statement that the call was very cordial.

Monti celebrated his 69th birthday, as Benedict, whose real name is Joseph Ratzinger, marked the saint’s day commemorating Joseph.

Italians also celebrate Father’s Day on March 19.

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