El alivio de la deuda de Europa

SANTIAGO – Europa lleva mucho tiempo amenazada por dos crisis. La primera estallaría con un ataque especulativo exitoso contra los bonos de un país grande de la zona del euro, lo que pondría en peligro inmediatamente la supervivencia de la moneda única. La promesa del Presidente del Banco Central Europeo, Mario Draghi, de hacer “todo lo que sea necesario” parece haber reducido este peligro… al menos hasta el momento.

El otro peligro en ciernes es una crisis del crecimiento, amenaza que se vuelve más grave cada día. Las proyecciones más recientes del BCE, que recortaron el crecimiento esperado del PIB en 2012 y 2013, muestran con toda claridad la amenaza: este año la zona del euro se contraerá y el próximo año crecerá tan sólo un 0,3 por ciento, en el mejor de los casos.

Europa ha crecido persistentemente menos de lo proyectado porque las autoridades europeas subestiman puna y otra vez los multiplicadores fiscales al aplicar una política de austeridad. Y un crecimiento más lento significa menos ingresos fiscales, lo que entraña déficits y deudas mayores. En ese momento, como han subrayado Wolfgang Munchau, del Financial Times, y otros, toda la operación de apretarse el cinturón fiscal empieza a parecer contraproducente.

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