By contrast, fiscal and structural policies are part of a complex process, depending on political forces defining the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of the government. As a result, tax and spending decisions and changes to market organization are part of an "inside lag" where they can take months, or even years, to be implemented.
Here is an example.
At the time of this writing, the French government is virtually on the verge of collapse, with street demonstrations and more than a million signatures secured to protest a draft law aimed at cutting non-wage labor costs.
Given a choice, the French government would rather tell the central bank to cut interest rates in order to revive employment growth instead of trying to accomplish that through a long process of politically flammable structural reforms. Luckily, however, the Elysée Palace lost that possibility to the ECB. And that could mean a climb-down of a president polling at 17 percent a year before the next elections.
Just say "no"
So, the ECB is out of this fight. But the ECB was pushed into massive interventions when the Germans decided a few years ago that "the euro area fiscal miscreants, unwilling structural reformers and incompetent bank supervisors had to be taught a lesson of fiscal austerity" – at the time when these economies were already collapsing.
Germany, obviously, was dumping things on the ECB, which, as a lender of last resort, had to guarantee the safety and the soundness of the financial system underlying the common currency and the economic and monetary union. For all that, Berlin kept pouring scorn on ECB's attempts to salvage the euro area amid falling governments (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece) and soaring unemployment, poverty and destitution.