Paul Lachine

Der Niedergang der Eurozone

NEW YORK – Die Krise der Eurozone scheint ihren Höhepunkt zu erreichen. Griechenland ist am Rande der Pleite und eines unrühmlichen Austritts aus der Währungsunion, und Italien läuft Gefahr, den Zugang zu den Märkten zu verlieren. Aber die Probleme der Eurozone liegen viel tiefer. Sie sind struktureller Natur und gefährden mindestens vier weitere Volkswirtschaften: Irland, Portugal, Zypern und Spanien.

Im letzten Jahrzehnt waren die PIIGS (Portugal, Irland, Italien, Griechenland und Spanien) die verlässlichsten Konsumenten der Eurozone. Sie gaben mehr aus, als sie einnahmen, und nahmen immer mehr Kredite auf. Während dessen waren die Kernländer (Deutschland, die Niederlande, Österreich und Frankreich) die verlässlichsten Produzenten, mit Ausgaben unter ihren Einnahmen und immer höheren Leistungsbilanzüberschüssen.

Diese externen Ungleichgewichte wurden durch die Stärke des Euro seit 2002 vergrößert, ebenso wie durch die Divergenz der realen Wechselkurse und den Wettbewerb innerhalb der Eurozone. Während die Lohnerhöhungen der Produktivität hinterher hinkten, sanken in Deutschland und anderen Kernländern die Lohnstückkosten, was zu realen Abwertungen und Überschüssen in der Leistungsbilanz führte, während in den PIIGS (und Zypern) das Gegenteil passierte und reale Aufwertungen und Leistungsbilanzdefizite zur Folge hatte. In Irland und Spanien brachen die privaten Sparquoten zusammen und eine Immobilienblase trieb den Konsum an, während in Griechenland, Portugal, Zypern und Italien die externen Ungleichgewichte durch exzessive Haushaltsdefizite verstärkt wurden.

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