The OECD at Davos

OECD Secretary-General at Davos

The great and the good have been milling around Davos this week, mulling over the challenges facing the global economy. Among the attendees is the OECD’s Angel Gurría, who’s been talking to a number of news outlets.

In an interview with Reuters, he was asked about British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge this week to renegotiate his country’s membership in the European Union and then ask British voters to decide on whether to stay in or get out of the EU.

The OECD Secretary-General argued that much of Britain’s frustration with the EU arose from the divergence in economic performance across the bloc between the peripheral economies and countries like Germany. “Europe has a problem of divergence in productivity and competitiveness,” he said. But he argued that the EU was now firmly on a path of recovery and convergence that would make the bloc stronger over the next five years. “We’re rebuilding, it’s going to be stronger, nobody’s going to leave,” he predicted.

Speaking to Bloomberg Mr. Gurría warned with “big yellow flashing lights” against complacency over the state of the world economy. “We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said. He called on governments to take action on long-term structural reform across a number of areas, including investment in education and innovation as well reforms to taxation: “Let’s go for the reforms,” he declared, “so that we can consolidate the recovery.”

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OECD work on the economy