brazil protest Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Il Fase “Argentina” del Brasile

CAMBRIDGE – L’economia del Brasile è in caduta libera, vittima di anni di cattiva gestione economica e dell’enorme scandalo per corruzione che ha travolto l’establishment politico e imprenditoriale del paese – e che ora minaccia di abbattere il secondo presidente in due anni. Potrebbe sembrare difficile concentrarsi sull’elaborazione di strategie future in circostanze politiche ed economiche avverse, ma resta il fatto che il Brasile deve superare le sfide fondamentali se vuole creare le basi per una crescita sostenibile. Poche questioni si prospettano minacciose quanto le difficoltà fiscali del paese.

Esistono forti motivi per affermare che in Brasile l’uso eccessivo delle finanze pubbliche abbia da tempo frenato l’economia. Il rapporto tra spesa pubblica e PIL, al 36%, è uno dei più alti tra i paesi ad un livello di reddito simile. Anni di lassismo fiscale, aumenti degli obblighi previdenziali e bassi prezzi delle materie prime hanno fortemente amplificato le preoccupazioni – ora aggravate dalla crisi politica – riguardo al peso del debito pubblico, attualmente pari a circa il 70% del PIL. Gli alti tassi di interesse necessari a finanziare la pericolosa situazione fiscale lo aggravano ulteriormente: il maggiore esborso per il pagamento degli interessi rappresenta gran parte della differenza di spesa tra il Brasile ed i paesi ed esso comparabili.

In questo contesto, il Congresso Nazionale del Brasile, nel tentativo di riguadagnare la fiducia dei mercati, lo scorso dicembre ha approvato un emendamento costituzionale senza precedenti che impone un tetto massimo alla spesa pubblica, esclusa quella per interessi, indicizzata all’inflazione dell’anno precedente, per un periodo di almeno dieci anni. Finché si mantiene, il tetto di spesa assicura che la dimensione dell’intervento pubblico (escludendo i pagamenti degli interessi) verrà ridotta in termini di percentuale del reddito nazionale per ogni anno in cui l’economia avrà una crescita reale. Al tempo, il Fondo Monetario Internazionale lo ha appoggiato con entusiasmo, definendolo una potenziale “rivoluzione” fiscale.

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