Structural reforms can make the difference as countries seek to rebound from the crisis, boost growth and create jobs, according to an OECD Going for Growth report, published on February 24.
"The crisis has acted as a catalyst for reforms. While they are sometimes unpopular, painful or both, they are necessary to make longer term growth stronger, more sustainable and more equitable, stressed OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, adding that "we know that these efforts will pay dividends in the future, which is why governments must keep up the reform momentum."
The OECD report assesses and compares progress that countries have made on structural reforms since the start of the crisis, covering the 2007-11 period. It shows that the pace of reform has accelerated where it is needed most – in European countries hardest hit by the sovereign debt crisis, including Greece, Ireland, Portugal and most recently, Spain and Italy. It is noteworthy, in this respect, that in overall responsiveness to OECD recommendations from 2008 to 2011, Greece ranks first.