Chancellor Gordon Brown has blamed a lack of progress in economic reform for increases in European inflation.
In an article for the Wall Street Journal Europe, the Chancellor said that, not only had Europe been growing at a slower rate than America with higher unemployment, but there were signs that, on top of oil price rises, a European failure to reform was now a contributor to rising inflation.
Mr Brown said Europe needed to speed up the pace of economic reform to become globally competitive and also needed to be far more open in its trading relations with the rest of the world.
"We should start by reducing regulatory requirements on firms: putting all regulations to a competitiveness test, replacing blanket requirements for information and inspection with risk based regulation led by a business task force pushing for change." He added that pro-competition investigations needed to be widened beyond energy and financial services.