Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central Bank chief, won some grudging admiration from trade union bosses in Seville after giving a typically urbane explanation of why workers had to keep their pay claims down for the sake of the economy.
Mr Trichet argued at the European Trade Union Confederation’s four-yearly congress that low pay rises equalled low inflation, equalled stability, equalled more opportunities for the comrades’ unemployed brethren. "He was pretty good," admitted one veteran union baron.
If he had not been plausible he might have been given a much tougher time during a panel debate with senior union leaders I happened to be chairing. Because workers feel it is time they got their share of what has so far been almost a "payless recovery".