Las breves vacaciones de Europa

NUEVA YORK - Desde el pasado mes de noviembre, el Banco Central Europeo, bajo su nuevo presidente, Mario Draghi, ha reducido sus tipos de interés y realizado dos inyecciones de más de € 1 billón de liquidez al sistema bancario de la eurozona. Esto condujo a una reducción temporal de las tensiones financieras que enfrentan los países endeudados y en peligro de su periferia (Grecia, España, Portugal, Italia e Irlanda), redujo drásticamente el riesgo de una corrida de liquidez en el sistema bancario de la eurozona, y bajó los costes de financiación para Italia y España con respecto a sus insostenibles niveles del otoño pasado.

Al mismo tiempo, se evitó que Grecia cayese en el impago técnico, y el país implementó una exitosa (si bien coercitiva) reestructuración de su deuda pública. Un nuevo pacto fiscal (y nuevos gobiernos en Grecia, Italia, y España) generó la esperanza de un compromiso creíble con la austeridad y las reformas estructurales. Y la decisión de combinar el nuevo fondo de rescate de la eurozona (el Mecanismo Europeo de Estabilidad) con el antiguo (el Fondo Europeo de Estabilidad Financiera) aumentó significativamente el tamaño del "muro de contención financiera" de la zona euro.

Pero la luna de miel subsiguiente con los mercados resultó ser breve. Los diferenciales de tipos de interés de Italia y España se están ampliando de nuevo, mientras que los costes del endeudamiento para Portugal y Grecia se han mantenido altos todo el tiempo. Inevitablemente, la recesión en la periferia de la eurozona se está profundizando y pasando al núcleo, es decir, Francia y Alemania. De hecho, se agravará a lo largo de este año, por varias razones.

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