El fin… ¿o el comienzo del euro?

BRUSELAS – Cuando a fines de los ochenta los arquitectos del euro empezaron a diseñar los planes para su creación, muchos economistas les advirtieron que para que la unión monetaria fuera viable no bastaba tener un banco central independiente y un marco de disciplina presupuestaria. Sucesivos estudios hicieron hincapié en las asimetrías internas de la futura área de moneda común; la posibilidad de que una sola política monetaria no sirviera para todos los casos; la insuficiencia de los canales de ajuste en ausencia de movilidad laboral transfronteriza; y la necesidad de tener alguna forma de unión fiscal con mecanismos de aseguración para ayudar a los países en problemas.

Fuera del ámbito de la economía, muchos observadores señalaron que los ciudadanos de la Unión Europea solamente aceptarían entablar un vínculo monetario estrecho si lo hacían como participantes de una comunidad política compartida. Al ex presidente del Bundesbank, Hans Tietmeyer, le gustaba citar a un filósofo francés medieval, Nicolás Oresme, quien escribió que el dinero no pertenece al príncipe, sino a la comunidad. La cuestión era: ¿qué comunidad política sostendría al euro?

Algunas de estas advertencias nacían de dudas muy profundas sobre la unificación monetaria europea. Pero en otros casos, los críticos nada más querían recalcar que para el viaje que los europeos iban a emprender, necesitaban una barca más robusta y mejor equipada. Su mensaje era sencillo: que los gobiernos nacionales debían adaptar sus economías a las restricciones de la unión monetaria; que el euro necesitaba una integración económica más profunda sobre la cual apoyarse; y que para tener una moneda común hacía falta legitimidad política, esto es, la constitución de un gobierno común europeo.

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