¿Crecimiento austero?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – La reacción del Gobierno de Alemania ante el llamamiento del recién elegido Presidente de Francia, François Hollande, en pro de unas políticas más orientadas al crecimiento ha sido la de decir que no debe haber cambios en los programas de austeridad de la zona del euro. Más bien, se podrían “añadir” a esos programas medidas de apoyo al crecimiento, como, por ejemplo, más préstamos del Banco Europeo de Inversiones o la emisión de bonos para proyectos garantizados conjuntamente con miras a financiar inversiones concretas.

Dentro y fuera de Alemania, muchos declaran que hacen falta tanto austeridad como más crecimiento y que hacer más hincapié en el crecimiento no significa reducción alguna de la austeridad. El drama de la crisis actual de la zona del euro ha centrado la atención en Europa, pero el resultado del debate sobre austeridad y crecimiento tendrá repercusiones también fuera de ella, incluidos los Estados Unidos.

Tres aspectos esenciales deben quedar claros. En primer lugar, en una situación de desempleo generalizado y exceso de capacidad, la producción a corto plazo va determinada primordialmente por la demanda, no la oferta. En los países miembros de la zona del euro, sólo es posible aplicar la política fiscal en el nivel nacional, porque el Banco Central Europeo controla la política monetaria. Así, pues, es cierto que más crecimiento inmediato requiere una reducción más lenta de los déficit fiscales.

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