Europas Schuldenwunsch

CAMBRIDGE – In der Debatte zwischen den politischen Führern des Euroraums über den besten Weg zur Stärkung des Wirtschaftswachstums haben sich Franzosen und Italiener zuletzt für eine Lockerung des strikten „Fiskalpakts“ des Euroraums ausgesprochen. Zugleich drängen die Führungen der nördlichen Euroländer weiter auf eine ernsthaftere Umsetzung von Strukturreformen.

Idealerweise werden beide Seiten bekommen, was sie wollen; allerdings ist ein Endspiel ohne eine deutliche Schuldenumschichtung oder Umschuldung schwer vorstellbar. Das Unvermögen der europäischen Politik, ein derartiges Szenario in Betracht zu ziehen, erlegt der Europäischen Zentralbank eine enorme Belastung auf.

Obwohl es viele Erklärungen für die langsame Konjunkturerholung im Euroraum gibt, ist es klar, dass der Überhang an öffentlichen und privaten Schulden dabei eine große Rolle spielt. Die Bruttoverschuldung der privaten Haushalte und Finanzinstitute als Anteil vom Volkseinkommen ist heute höher als vor der Finanzkrise. Die Unternehmensschulden außerhalb des Finanzsektors sind nur wenig gesunken. Und natürlich ist die Staatsverschuldung aufgrund der Bankenrettungen und des starken rezessionsbedingten Rückgangs der Steuereinnahmen steil angestiegen.

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