Cómo poner fin a la tragedia griega

SANTIAGO – Según se informa, los líderes europeos ante la realidad de una Grecia insolvente ahora consideran un "Plan B" que implicaría reducir la carga del servicio de su deuda. Este es un bienvenido contraste a las opciones consideradas hasta ahora, ya que todas ellas incluían – bajo distintas apariencias – imponer más deuda a un país que ya tiene demasiada.

La deuda pública griega en la actualidad asciende a casi un 160% del PIB oficial del país. Supongamos que le tome a Grecia 25 años bajarla hasta el límite de Maastricht del 60%. Si la tasa de interés real sobre la deuda griega fuera del 4% (más o menos lo que Grecia paga ahora por los préstamos de emergencia de la Unión Europea) y el PIB anual crece en un 2% en promedio, el superávit fiscal primario requerido cada año durante el próximo cuarto de siglo alcanzaría al 5,7% del PIB. Esa es una carga inconcebiblemente grande, que corre el riesgo de condenar a Grecia a una recesión permanente y al descontento social.

Un posible argumento en contra es que Grecia tiene una gran economía informal, por lo que su PIB real es mayor que la cifra oficial. Como resultado, los índices de deuda que comúnmente se aplican a Grecia podrían estar sobredimensionados. Sin embargo, la producción informal es de poca utilidad para el servicio de la deuda si no se le puede imponer obligaciones tributarias. En cualquier caso, la posibilidad de aumentos de impuestos es muy limitada en una economía que se contrae rápidamente.

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