Paul Lachine

Europa no es Estados Unidos

CAMBRIDGE.– Europa se debate contra las inevitables consecuencias negativas de imponer una única moneda en un conjunto muy heterogéneo de países. Pero la crisis presupuestaria griega y el riesgo de insolvencia en Italia y España son tan solo una parte del problema causado por la moneda única. La fragilidad de los bancos europeos más importantes, las altas tasas de desocupación y el elevado desequilibrio comercial intraeuropeo (el superávit de 200 miles de millones de dólares en la cuenta corriente de Alemania respecto del déficit combinado de 300 miles de millones en el resto de la eurozona) también son un reflejo del uso del euro.

Los políticos europeos que insistieron en la introducción del euro en 1999 ignoraron las advertencias de los economistas que predijeron que una moneda única para toda Europa traería graves problemas. Quienes abogaban por el euro se centraban en la meta de la integración política europea. Veían la moneda única como parte del proceso de creación de un sentimiento de comunidad política en Europa. Lograron el apoyo popular con el eslogan «Un mercado, una moneda», argumentando que la zona de libre comercio creada por la Unión Europea solo alcanzaría el éxito con una moneda única.

Ni la historia ni la lógica económica prestaban apoyo a esa interpretación. De hecho, el comercio en la UE funciona bien, a pesar de que solo 17 de los 27 miembros de la unión usan el euro.

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