Paul Lachine

Una unión monetaria más perfecta

VARSOVIA – La zona euro es considerada a menudo un experimento –una unión monetaria sin unión política. Los que argumentan esto parecen tener en mente un modelo de Estado individual, que tiene dos características principales: una limitada soberanía fiscal de los gobiernos locales y regionales y un presupuesto común sustancial del cual las regiones afectadas por fuertes choques asimétricos pueden recibir transferencias.

Los que afirman que la zona euro necesita una “unión política” parecen enfocarse en la segunda característica, a pesar del hecho de que las restricciones fiscales a los gobiernos locales son clara y típicamente un componente importante de los Estados individuales. En este sentido, ignoran el hecho de que el Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento de la Unión Europea ha sido en principio un componente importante de la unión política, no su sustituto. En efecto, los problemas fiscales actuales de la zona euro no son consecuencia de la falta de un presupuesto grande y común sino de una aplicación débil del Pacto.

Más fundamentalmente, las uniones monetarias –en un sentido más amplio- han existido no sólo dentro de los Estados individuales sino también en grupos de Estados soberanos, el patrón oro es el ejemplo más notable de la historia. La experiencia de dichas uniones monetarias ofrece dos lecciones. Primero, requieren de disciplina fiscal en los Estados miembros, el cual fue el caso con el patrón oro con su norma informal de presupuestos equilibrados. Segundo, existen sin que haya ninguna transferencia fiscal de alguna entidad central común porque dicha entidad no existía. En su lugar, un amplio margen de flexibilidad, incluido dentro de sus mercados laborales, facilitaba el ajuste a los choques asimetricos.

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