Las odiosas deudas de Mubarak

NUEVA YORK.– Una mirada a las finanzas públicas de Egipto revela un dato perturbador: los pagos de intereses por la deuda externa del país sobrepasan su presupuesto combinado para educación, salud y vivienda. En efecto, el costo de los servicios de la deuda alcanza el 22% de los gastos totales del gobierno egipcio.

El impacto ya no puede ignorarse. Con creciente incertidumbre política y su economía en desaceleración, Egipto probablemente presenciará menores ingresos fiscales, mayores demandas de gasto y tasas de interés crecientes para el endeudamiento gubernamental. Esto puede conducir a una catástrofe fiscal para el gobierno justo cuando el país intenta una transición política complicada.

La deuda pública egipcia representa aproximadamente el 80% de su PBI. Está muy cerca del 90%, nivel que los economistas Kenneth Rogoff y Carmen Reinhart señalan como precursor de menor crecimiento y mayor vulnerabilidad a las crisis fiscales y financieras. A los egipcios les basta mirar al norte, a la crisis de la deuda europea, para entender que deben solucionar el problema de su endeudamiento ahora, en lugar de esperar a que alcance las proporciones griegas.

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