Europas Manie mit der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit

BRÜSSEL – Der Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank soll bei jedem Treffen des Europäischen Rats ein Diagramm präsentieren, das die Entwicklung der relativen Lohnkosten in den 16 Mitgliedsländern der Eurozone zeigt. Daraus geht hervor, dass in den letzten zehn Jahren zunehmend Diskrepanzen entstanden, wobei jene Länder, die nun vor Schwierigkeiten stehen (Griechenland, Portugal und Spanien) im Vergleich zu Deutschland etwa 20 Prozent ihrer Wettbewerbsfähigkeit eingebüßt haben. Mit anderen Worten: Seit 1999 sind die Lohnkosten in Deutschland um ungefähr 20 Prozent weniger gestiegen als in Südeuropa.

Die Schlussfolgerung scheint klar zu sein. Die südeuropäischen Mitglieder der Eurozone müssen ihre Lohnkosten reduzieren, um wieder so wettbewerbsfähig zu werden, wie vor der Einführung der gemeinsamen Währung.

Die Sorge um diese Diskrepanzen hat auch die Arbeitsgruppe unter der Leitung von EU-Ratspräsident Herman Van Rompuy erreicht. Diese soll grundlegende Reformen der wirtschaftspolitischen Koordination innerhalb der EU erarbeiten. Einer der wichtigsten Vorschläge nach der ersten Sitzung der Arbeitsgruppe war, Indikatoren der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit zu entwickeln. Sollte die EU zu große Diskrepanzen feststellen, müsste man die Mitgliedsländer zu „Abhilfemaßnahmen“ zwingen.

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