Chris Van Es

Eine Abwertungsalternative für Südeuropa

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Dieses Jahr dürfte die Feuerprobe für den Euro bringen. Das Überleben der Eurozone verlangt nach einer glaubwürdigen Lösung ihrer anhaltenden Staatsschuldenkrise, was wiederum die Bewältigung der beiden makroökonomischen Ungleichgewichte – der außenwirtschaftlichen und der fiskalischen – erfordert, die im Kern dieser Krise liegen.

Die Krise hat die tiefen Unterschiede bei der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit offen gelegt, die sich in der Eurozone herausgebildet haben. Zwischen 1996 bis 2010 sind die Lohnstückkosten in Deutschland um bloße 8% und in Frankreich um 13% gestiegen. Man vergleiche dies mit 24% in Portugal, 35% in Spanien, 37% in Italien und enormen 59% in Griechenland. Das Ergebnis sind große Handelsungleichgewichte zwischen den Euroländern, ein Problem, das durch große Haushaltsdefizite und hohe Staatsverschuldung in Südeuropa (und Frankreich) – großenteils gegenüber ausländischen Kreditgebern – noch verschärft wird.

Erfordert die Bewältigung dieser Ungleichgewichte eine Auflösung der Eurozone? Nehmen wir einmal, nur als Beispiel, an, dass Portugal die Eurozone verlassen und den Escudo wieder einführen würde. Die resultierende Wechselkursabwertung würde den Preis portugiesischer Exporte umgehend sinken lassen, die Konjunktur ankurbeln und für dringend benötigtes Wachstum sorgen. Doch ein Euroausstieg wäre eine unordentliche Angelegenheit. Die sich daraus ergebenden Turbulenzen könnten sehr wohl alle aus der Abwertung resultierenden Wettbewerbsvorteile zunichtemachen.

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