Yesterday I suggested that the "Central banker award for stating the blindingly obvious" appears to belong to the ECB in perpetuity. Just in case this was in any doubt Jean-Claude Trichet rams the point home in this Reuters piece from Beijing.
"Reform is of the essence because we must elevate the growth potential of our vast economy of 307 million inhabitants, growth potential which is too low and which could be substantially, significantly augmented if we were to embark on reforms," Trichet said.
The ECB has been pushing the 12 members of the euro zone to press ahead with structural reforms that include changes such as deregulating labor and product markets.
Of course the Reuters article misleads with an initial line that states that "Europe is poised for strong economic growth", which seems to be a creative use of the word poised. I believe equivalent usage would be describing a 90-year old man with a Zimmer frame as "poised" to hobble down the hall to the toilet. The Eurozone may indeed be "poised" for strong economic growth once deregulatory reforms are introduced, however someone forgot to point out that the Eurozone countries are not poised to introduce deregulatory reforms, indeed the three biggest Eurozone economies, France, Germany and Italy, seem if anything poised to introduce more regulation and protection.
This means that the only thing Mr Trichet's comments do is make life a little uncomfortable for his fellow Enarque, Dominque de Villepin who has to balance the ECBs demands for deregulation with the trade unions demands for protection. Any guesses for which demand is going to be accomodated?
Update: I'm beginning to wonder if George at the EU-Rota blog is my long los twin - today he has yet another post with statistics to illustrate my story.