mass anti-EU rally in Athens in 2015 NurPhoto

¿La UE puede sobrevivir al populismo?

BRUSELAS – Otro año, otra amenaza a la supervivencia de la Unión Europea. La buena noticia es que la mayor ruptura de 2016, el voto de Gran Bretaña para abandonar la UE, parece manejable. La mala noticia es que tanto Francia como Italia enfrentan la perspectiva de que los populistas lleguen al poder este año. Lo que suceda en cualquiera de estos países podría decretar el fin de la UE.

La UE recientemente se ha convertido en el blanco principal de los populistas. El fenómeno prosperó en primer lugar en Grecia, cuando el partido de izquierda Syriza llegó al poder en enero de 2015. Pero Syriza no pretendía retirar a Grecia de la UE; más bien, quería un mejor acuerdo con los acreedores del país, que habían impuesto medidas de austeridad devastadoras a los ciudadanos griegos.

La estrategia de Syriza en gran medida reflejaba la voluntad del pueblo. En un referendo de junio de 2015, los votantes rechazaron abrumadoramente un acuerdo propuesto por los acreedores de Grecia que habría significado una austeridad aún mayor. Sin embargo, la aceptación por parte del gobierno de un acuerdo esencialmente inalterado recibió un amplio apoyo pocos días después. Los votantes griegos entendieron que no valía la pena dejar de ser miembro de la eurozona a cambio de conseguir términos mejores.

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