Eurozone economy needs jobs 'flexibility': ECB

20th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 20, 2006 (AFP) - Eurozone economies must show flexibility if mass unemployment is to be overcome, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday.

PARIS, March 20, 2006 (AFP) - Eurozone economies must show flexibility if mass unemployment is to be overcome, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said on Monday.

Trichet, speaking against a background of rising opposition from students and trade unions in France to a relaxation of job protection, told French radio LCI that it was imperative for eurozone economies to show increased flexibility.

Asked about the strains in France over a new arrangement enabling employers to hire — and dismiss — young staff for up to two years without being bound by tight job-security regulations, Trichet replied: "The European Central Bank does not seek to substitute itself for governments and parliaments in the 12 countries of the eurozone, nor for the social partners (employers and trades unions)."

But he added: "Anything that goes in the direction of greater flexibility is from this point of view good to fight mass unemployment in the world today,  which ... is changing so quickly that adaptation is becoming something that is essential."

"Those economies which can adapt rapidly are rewarded and they take advantage from this world in a state of rapid change. The economies which cannot change rapidly, which are inflexible, which are not flexible, are very, very hard hit," he argued.

Asked about the possible economic effects of the crisis in France, he said he did not see any "significant economic impact, certainly not regarding the 313 million people in the eurozone".

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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