O Confronto de Gerações da Europa

LONDRES – Enquanto a crise financeira da Europa passa de aguda a crónica, a disputa sobre quem suportará os custos da sua resolução está a alimentar a emergência de uma nova geração de movimentos políticos. Na denominada periferia, os estreantes políticos prometem aos cidadãos uma alternativa à austeridade. Nos países “centrais” da zona euro, pretendem proteger os contribuintes de incansáveis exigências para o alívio de países devedores. O modo como os líderes da Europa responderem a estes novos adversários políticos determinará a estabilização ou a fracturação da união monetária.

A elite política da Europa tem sido, na sua maioria, fortemente integracionista. Dado que provém principalmente da geração pós-II Guerra Mundial, está agudamente consciente dos benefícios de uma Europa pacífica. Na década de 1990, visões distintas da integração Europeia levaram a um comprometimento problemático. De modo a assegurar o apoio da França à reunificação Alemã, a Alemanha concordou em criar uma união monetária – mas não uma união fiscal. Agora, a Europa sofre as consequências desse acordo Faustiano.

Ao mesmo tempo, os líderes da Europa estão sob a pressão de uma nova geração de eleitores, que cresceram à sombra do colapso do Muro de Berlim. O levantar da Cortina de Ferro deu ao Ocidente acesso a uma grande oferta de trabalho barato na Europa Oriental. A posterior emergência da China expandiu ainda mais essa oferta, culminando com a entrada da China na Organização Mundial do Comércio em 2001. Como resultado, muitas das economias da Europa começaram a ficar para trás.

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