¿Podrá la zona del euro sobrevivir a la recuperación económica?

CAMBRIDGE – La recuperación económica que en la zona del euro se prevé para 2010 podría venir acompañada de nuevas tensiones. De hecho, en casos extremos algunos países podrían verse examinando la conveniencia de abandonar del todo la moneda única.

Aunque el euro simplifica el comercio, crea problemas importantes en materia de política monetaria. Aun antes de que naciera, algunos economistas (como yo mismo) se preguntaron si sería conveniente una moneda única para un grupo tan heterogéneo de países. Una moneda única significa una política monetaria única y un tipo de interés único, aun cuando las condiciones económicas –en particular las cíclicas– difieran en gran medida entre los países miembros de la Unión Económica y Monetaria (UEM) europea.

Una moneda única significa también un tipo de cambio común en relación con otras divisas, lo que excluye, para todos los miembros de la zona del euro, una reacción natural en el mercado ante un déficit comercial crónico. Si dichos países tuvieran su moneda propia, el tipo de cambio disminuiría, lo que beneficiaría las exportaciones y obstaculizaría las importaciones. Sin su propia moneda, la única cura para un déficit comercial crónico es la reducción de los salarios reales o aumentos de la productividad relativa.

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