Una narrativa griega sobre moralidad

NUEVA YORK – Cuando la crisis del euro comenzó hace media década, los economistas keynesianos predijeron que la austeridad que se imponía a Grecia y a los demás países en crisis sería un fracaso. Predijeron que la austeridad ahogaría el crecimiento y aumentaría el desempleo – y que incluso fracasaría en su propósito de reducir la relación deuda–PIB. Otros economistas – en la Comisión Europea, el Banco Central Europeo, y en algunas universidades – hablaron de contracciones expansivas. Pero, incluso el Fondo Monetario Internacional sostuvo que las contracciones, como por ejemplo los recortes en el gasto público, eran solamente eso – políticas contractivas.

Nosotros casi ya no necesitábamos de una evidencia probatoria adicional. La austeridad había fallado de manera repetitiva: desde cuando se la usó hace ya bastante tiempo atrás durante la administración del presidente estadounidense Herbert Hoover – en dicha ocasión, la austeridad convirtió un desplome del mercado bursátil en la Gran Depresión – hasta cuando se la impuso en la forma de “programas” del FMI implementados en el Este de Asia y en América Latina durante las últimas décadas. Y, a pesar de todo, cuando Grecia se metió en problemas, de nuevo se intentó usarla.

En su gran mayoría, Grecia siguió las medidas dictadas por la “troika” (la Comisión Europea, el BCE y el FMI): convirtió un déficit presupuestario primario en un superávit primario. Sin embargo y de manera previsible la contracción del gasto público ha sido devastadora: 25% de desempleo, una caída del 22% en el PIB desde el año 2009, y un aumento del 35% en la relación deuda–PIB. Y ahora, con la abrumadora victoria en las elecciones de Syriza, el partido anti-austeridad, los votantes griegos han declarado que se hartaron de la situación.

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