ECB's Praet calls for reforms to fix uneven eurozone recovery

WASHINGTON, April 10 Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:00am EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - A recovery in the euro zone economy is uneven with growth steady in some countries and anaemic in others, European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter Praet said on Thursday.

Praet, who holds the Executive Board's economics portfolio, called for "catching up" countries to improve their productivity with structural reforms to narrow the divergence between economies in the 18-country bloc.

"The latest data confirm that the euro area on aggregate is proceeding slowly along the path of economic recovery," Praet said in the text of a speech on 'The Financial Cycle and Real Convergence in the Euro Area' for delivery in Washington.

"Yet ... some euro area countries are experiencing steady growth, while in others growth remains anaemic," he added.

Structural reforms and integration of the euro zone financial market through the banking union project "should provide the conditions for efficient resource allocation and hence sustainable convergence in the future," he said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Writing by Paul Carrel)

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