Dean Rohrer

¿Se puede salvar al euro?

NUEVA YORK – La crisis financiera griega puso en riesgo la supervivencia misma del euro. En el momento de la creación del euro, a muchos los preocupaba su viabilidad a largo plazo. Cuando todo salió bien, esas preocupaciones pasaron al olvido. Pero el interrogante sobre cómo se aplicarían los ajustes si parte de la eurozona resultara afectada por un fuerte shock adverso perduró. Corregir el tipo de cambio y delegar la política monetaria al Banco Central Europeo eliminó dos recursos primordiales a través de los cuales los gobiernos nacionales estimulan sus economías para evitar la recesión. ¿Qué podía reemplazarlos?

El premio Nobel Robert Mundell estableció las condiciones según las cuales una moneda única podía funcionar. Europa no cumplió con esas condiciones en su momento; y sigue sin hacerlo. La eliminación de barreras legales para el movimiento de trabajadores creó un mercado laboral único, pero las diferencias lingüísticas y culturales hacen que la movilidad laboral al estilo norteamericano resulte inalcanzable.

Es más, Europa no tiene manera de ayudar a aquellos países que enfrentan problemas serios. Consideremos el caso de España, que tiene una tasa de desempleo del 20% -y más del 40% entre la gente joven-. El país tenía un excedente fiscal antes de la crisis; después de la crisis, su déficit aumentó a más del 11% del PBI. Pero, según las reglas de la Unión Europea, España ahora debe recortar su gasto, lo cual, probablemente, exacerbe el desempleo. Conforme su economía se ralentiza, la mejora de su posición fiscal puede ser mínima.

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