Enfrentar la realidad en la zona del euro

LONDRES – El reciente discurso del presidente del Banco Central Europeo, Mario Draghi, en la reunión anual de directivos de bancos centrales en Jackson Hole, Wyoming, ha suscitado gran interés, pero las implicaciones de sus declaraciones son aún más sorprendentes de lo que muchos inicialmente creyeron. Si se desea evitar la ruptura de la zona del euro, para escapar de una recesión sostenida serán necesarios mayores déficits fiscales financiados con dinero del BCE. La única pregunta es cuán abiertamente se admitirá esa realidad.

Los últimos datos económicos han obligado a los responsables de las políticas de la zona del euro a enfrentar los graves riesgos deflacionarios, evidentes desde hace al menos dos años. La inflación se encuentra atascada muy por debajo de la meta anual del BCE del 2 % y el crecimiento del PIB se ha estancado. Sin una fuerte implementación de políticas, la zona del euro, al igual que Japón desde la década de 1990, enfrenta la posibilidad de mantener un crecimiento dolorosamente lento y perder una o dos décadas.

Hasta el mes pasado, las crecientes preocupaciones llevaron a propuestas de políticas poco convincentes. Jens Weidmann brindó un espectáculo novedoso: un presidente del Bundesbank con un llamado a mayores salarios. Pero el crecimiento salarial no tendrá lugar sin políticas de estímulo.

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