Paul Lachine

Deuda e impuestos en la eurozona

BRUSELAS - La crisis actual en la zona del euro se conoce en todo el mundo como la "crisis de deuda soberana del euro". Sin embargo, en realidad se trata de una crisis de la deuda externa, no la deuda soberana.

La importancia de la deuda externa está bien ilustrada por el caso de Portugal: aunque las relaciones de deuda pública y déficit del país son muy similares a las de Francia, la prima de riesgo de su deuda pública ha aumentado de forma sostenida, hasta que se vio obligado a recurrir al fondo de rescate de la Unión Europea. El problema clave que afronta Portugal es, por tanto, no de política fiscal, sino la alta deuda (externa) de su sector privado: sus bancos y empresas.

La importancia limitada de la deuda pública por sí sola es también evidente en Italia y Bélgica. Ambos países tienen relaciones de deuda a PIB mucho más altas que Portugal, pero pagan una prima de riesgo mucho menor. La razón clave es que ambos tienen muy poca deuda externa (Bélgica tiene en realidad un superávit de cuenta corriente). De hecho, aunque el índice de deuda de Bélgica es superior a la media de la zona del euro (alrededor del 100% del PIB), el país sigue pagando una prima de riesgo inferior a 100 puntos básicos, a pesar de estar sin gobierno desde hace más de un año.

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