Jugar al juego del gallina con la democracia

PRINCETON – En el enfrentamiento cada vez más crispante entre Grecia y la Unión Europea, las autoridades griegas parecen estar reivindicando un mandato democrático que va más allá de las fronteras de su país. El nuevo gobierno, liderado por el partido de extrema izquierda Syriza, se presenta no solo como un negociador que procura un buen resultado para Grecia, sino como el adalid de una solución al problema supuestamente europeo del exceso de deuda gubernamental. Esa postura no reconoce que los interlocutores de Grecia tienen sus propias responsabilidades democráticas.

Puede considerarse que la política democrática moderna implica dos tipos de tareas: la formulación de leyes basadas en principios generales y la redistribución de recursos a través de los impuestos y el gasto gubernamental. En un mismo país, esas tareas son relativamente poco complicadas, pero las relaciones internacionales de los países pueden imponer poderosas restricciones a sus gobiernos.

Esas restricciones son especialmente fuertes cuando el gobierno debe operar dentro de una política más amplia, como ocurre con Grecia debido a su pertenencia a la UE. Pero cualquier proceso de integración, Europeo o mundial, requiere un cierto ajuste de las preferencias y las leyes internas. La capacidad de un gobierno para redistribuir la riqueza también se verá limitada si elevar los impuestos lleva a que el capital o quienes tienen altos ingresos abandonen el país.

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