ECB’s Trichet ready for Bermuda shorts

August 5, 2010


Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of the European Central Bank, was in a good mood on Thursday.

The 16-country bloc’s central bank is starting to see light at the end of the tunnel after a long, hard slog through the financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession, and this gives the policymakers a chance for some R&R.

“We are now … in a situation, which is obviously better than before,” Trichet said after the 16-country bloc’s central bank kept interest rates on hold at a record-low 1.0 percent. “Again, I don’t declare victory.”

But victory or no victory, he seemed relaxed. He switched into holiday gear during the news conference, saying he was more than happy to retreat to his beloved Saint-Malo in Brittany soon.

“My usual place to rest is the small, but beautiful city of Saint-Malo,” Trichet volunteered.

The sailing mecca, which sees its population swell during the summer, has been close to the central banker’s heart for a long time.

 “I love going to Saint-Malo,” Trichet said already in 2005. “For me, the Rance estuary is one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

But Trichet was very careful to note he was not the only one going on holiday, while others keep burning the midnight oil.

“I will very fortunately, like all my colleagues, from time to time have a little rest.”

Trichet, however, added that people were free to criticise public institutions and said he could take the heat. 

“Coming from a country which is legendary for its capacity to engage in criticism, I have a formidable training in my own country.”

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