The Austerity Pandemic

NEW YORK – Tijdens de voorjaarsvergaderingen van het Internationale Monetaire Fonds (IMF) en de Wereldbank in Washington DC dit jaar heeft het IMF de Europese landen opgeroepen hun bezuinigingsbeleid te versoepelen en zich te richten op investeringen. Dit was een breuk met de retoriek uit het verleden. Maar in de wandelgangen van beide multilaterale instellingen werd gesproken van een dubbele moraal.

In feite blijven de meeste landen bezuinigen – met de steun van het IMF. Dus zelfs nu sommige noordelijke landen vragen beginnen te stellen over de bezuinigingsvoorschriften, nemen de zuidelijke landen (inclusief de Zuid-Europese) steeds vaker maatregelen om hun begrotingen af te slanken.

Volgens voorspellingen van het IMF bevindt driekwart van de 119 regeringen die in 2013 hun begrotingen inkrimpen (in verhouding tot het bruto binnenlands product) zich in ontwikkelingslanden (waaronder 21 lageinkomenslanden en 68 middeninkomenslanden). Naar schatting 80% van de burgers van ontwikkelingslanden zal worden getroffen door bezuinigingen, en de gevolgen daarvan zullen vermoedelijk gestaag toenemen tot in 2015. Gedurende deze tijd zal de omvang van de krimp aanzienlijk zijn, waarbij ruwweg een kwart van alle ontwikkelingslanden de uitgaven waarschijnlijk zal terugbrengen naar een niveau dat lager ligt dan dat van vóór de crisis.

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