Police car in Budapest, Hungary

La amenaza que salvará a Europa

BRUSELAS – Para la Unión Europea, 2015 fue otro año de desafíos fundamentales. Dos elementos clave de la integración europea (el euro y el libre cruce de fronteras dentro del Espacio Schengen) estuvieron bajo intensa presión, y todavía no están fuera de riesgo. Sin embargo, en 2015 se produjo un cambio que da motivos para esperar que el año entrante los líderes de la UE dejarán la política de aplicar parches temporales y comenzarán a implementar soluciones más audaces: ahora la amenaza de expulsión es más creíble.

Aunque la crisis económica global que comenzó en 2008 expuso los serios defectos de la unión monetaria europea, hizo falta la experiencia límite de la crisis del euro de 2010 a 2012 para que los líderes europeos se vieran obligados a actuar, creando un cuantioso fondo para ayudar a los países en problemas e instituyendo una unión bancaria. Aun así, más de tres años después, esa unión (que otorga facultades de supervisión al Banco Central Europeo y sienta las bases de un fondo para la reestructuración de bancos en quiebra, pero carece de un sistema de seguro de depósitos común) dista de ser perfecta.

A pesar de sus defectos, la unión bancaria ayudó a mantener la calma en los mercados financieros durante la primera mitad de 2015, aun mientras el nuevo gobierno griego, liderado por el primer ministro Alexis Tsipras, cuestionaba un elemento básico de la estrategia europea para la solución de crisis financieras nacionales: que los receptores de ayuda deben ajustarse el cinturón. En un referendo celebrado en julio, los votantes griegos respaldaron la postura de Tsipras y rechazaron rotundamente las condiciones que los acreedores de Grecia exigían a cambio de un nuevo rescate (incluidas estrictas medidas de austeridad).

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