Paul Lachine

Lograr (nuevamente) el sí de Alemania

GINEBRA.– La crisis en cámara lenta de la deuda soberana europea puede parecer original, pero no lo es. Hace unas pocas décadas funcionaba el Mecanismo Europeo de Cambio (MEC), que colapsó durante una crisis muy similar a la que afecta hoy a Europa. ¿Será otro esta vez el resultado?

El MEC era un acuerdo que fijaba la mayoría de los tipos de cambio europeos dentro de ciertas bandas de flotación. Pero las políticas monetarias de los miembros del MEC mantuvieron su carácter local. No sorprende que ello haya derivado en desequilibrios fiscales.  Cuando los mercados de capital presentían problemas entre los miembros del MEC, invariablemente vendían en descubierto la moneda más vulnerable y obligaban a las autoridades del país a devaluar. Las autoridades se resistían, culpaban a los especuladores y luego, habitualmente después de varios días frenéticos, se rendían.

Los mercados también ponían a prueba la voluntad de los responsables de las políticas en los países del MEC que por lo demás eran sólidos, en especial cuando ocurrían grandes huelgas o elecciones importantes. En esos casos, incluso un gobierno con los fundamentos económicos adecuados y sus asuntos financieros en orden podía encontrarse en problemas. El presidente del Banco Central Europeo, Jean-Claude Trichet, es perfectamente consciente de esto: a principios de la década de 1990, enfrentó una crisis semejante en calidad de presidente del Banco de Francia.

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