Цена реформ

Слабая поддержка избирателей, полученная Ангелой Меркель на прошедших недавно в Германии выборах, подорвала все надежды на серьезные изменения в известной своей негибкостью экономике страны. Тони Блэр ждал ее избрания, чтобы начать кампанию, которая должна была превратить нынешнее президентство Великобритании в ЕС в исторический поворотный момент для экономики Союза. Сегодня план Блэра практически неосуществим, и потенциальным реформаторам приходится сдерживать свои амбиции. Европа, похоже, находится в более затруднительном положении, чем когда-либо. Но так ли это?

Начнем с того, что у частного сектора дела идут хорошо. Технологические новшества  быстро распространяются и внедряются в производство. Компании отреагировали на неблагоприятные условия сокращением кадров и повышением производительности посредством более капиталоемких производственных процессов и, когда необходимо, переводом производственных мощностей за границу. Примеры медленного реагирования можно найти только в сфере услуг, по большей части изолированной от международных производственных цепочек и даже внутренней европейской конкуренции.

Более важно то, что «европейской экономики» не существует. Союз состоит из 25 отличных друг от друга стран-членов. Скандинавские страны являются лидерами в области высоких технологий, Испания сократила вдвое уровень безработицы (еще недавно находившейся на уровне 25%), а новые страны-члены из Центральной и Восточной Европы быстро догоняют своих более развитых соседей.

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