I have taken both graphs from Paul Krugman’s website, quick&dirty pasting at its best. Add to this yesterday’s news that the inflation rate in the euro area has reached 2.2% in December 2010 and you know that this year will be, well, interesting.
The ECB is between a rock and a hard place. Let inflation go, and accept a higher price level in the core (Germany, etc.) or rein it in and risk more deflation, financial troubles and depression in the periphery. We (Europeans) are living in post-asymmetric shock times.