Aclaremos la austeridad

MILÁN.- Recientemente he tenido el privilegio de ser orador en la principal conferencia anual del Consejo Económico Alemán, la sección económica y de negocios de la Unión Demócrata Cristiana, el partido gobernante. La canciller Angela Merkel y el Ministro de Finanzas Wolfgang Schäuble también estaban entre los oradores. Fue un evento interesante –y, algo más importante aún, esperanzador.

Pareció claro que Alemania (o al menos este gran conjunto formado por gobernantes, empresas y líderes sindicales) sigue comprometida con el euro y una mayor integración europea, y reconoce que para superar la actual crisis en la región, los costos deberán distribuirse al nivel europeo. Las reformas en Italia y España se perciben correctamente como fundamentales, y parece haber una profunda comprensión (basada en la propia experiencia alemana en la década y media posterior a la reunificación) del largo tiempo necesario para restaurar la competitividad, el empleo y el crecimiento.

Las opciones de Grecia no son buenas, pero se debe controlar el grave riesgo de contagio para evitar el descarrilamiento de las reformas fiscales y orientadas al crecimiento en Italia y España. Ante el elevado riesgo sistémico, el capital privado está abandonando los bancos y los mercados de deuda soberana, elevando los costos de endeudamiento de los gobiernos y reduciendo la capitalización de los bancos. Esto, a su vez, amenaza el funcionamiento del sistema financiero y la eficacia de los programas de reforma.

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