La Nueva Europa coge el resfriado de la Vieja Europa

LONDRES - A medida que los gobiernos de Europa Occidental comenzaron a rescatar bancos y a sus depositantes, los europeos del este observaban nerviosamente, sin saber muy bien  cómo les afectaría la tormenta financiera global. Ahora que los ha golpeado, se están poniendo a prueba los frágiles vínculos de la solidaridad europea.

Dos países –Hungría y Ucrania- ya han pedido grandes paquetes de ayuda. Varios más podrían seguir su ejemplo el próximo mes si los mercados del crédito no salen de la parálisis. Si la situación sigue así hasta fin de año -lo que no se puede descartar- varios otros países podrían enfrentar serias crisis bancarias.

A lo largo de las últimas dos décadas, Europa del Este ha emprendido amplias reformas y abrazado  la integración financiera global. Los bancos extranjeros, principalmente europeos, han entrado a estos mercados con una fuerza y velocidad sin precedentes, llegando a más empresas riesgosas de tamaño pequeño y mediano, y ayudando a que la gente compre nuevas casas y comience nuevos negocios. Sin embargo, el éxito del desarrollo financiero exitoso ahora también está mostrando la otra cara de la moneda.

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