El factor de estabilidad de Europa

FRANCFORT.-  El euro tiene menos de diez años y es, bajo cualquier parámetro, una moneda joven. Con todo, se ha convertido en una realidad cotidiana para casi 320 millones de personas en 15 países europeos. Dado el comportamiento del euro en este año de crisis financiera global, incluso los críticos más duros no pueden negar que el euro ha sido un gran éxito.

En el verano que termina, millones de viajeros no tuvieron que pagar altas y pesadas comisiones para cambiar sus divisas. Pero para el comercio y la inversión las ventajas de que no haya riesgos de tipo de cambio en la zona del euro son de una importancia económica mucho mayor. La moneda común completa el mercado único para los países miembros de la zona del euro.

Desde 1999, los miembros de la Unión Monetaria Europea (UME) han experimentado varios choques exógenos severos: el aumento del precio del petróleo, de 10 a 150 dólares el barril; el colapso de los mercados de valores al implosionar la burbuja de las compañías de Internet; la propagación de los riesgos del terrorismo luego de los ataques del 11 de septiembre de 2001, y dos guerras. La caída del mercado estadounidense de las hipotecas de alto riesgo, que comenzó el verano pasado, desencadenó una turbulencia en los mercados financieros que parece no tener final.

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