El espejismo económico de Alemania

LONDRES – Durante sesenta años, los sucesivos gobiernos alemanes procuraron una Alemania más europea, pero ahora el gobierno de la Canciller Angela Merkel quiere remodelar las economías de Europa a imagen y semejanza de Alemania. Se trata de un propósito políticamente imprudente y económicamente peligroso. Lejos de ser –como se jactan el ministro de Hacienda de Alemania, Wolfgang Schäuble y otros– la más lograda de Europa, la economía de Alemania es disfuncional.

Desde luego, Alemania tiene sus puntos fuertes: empresas renombradas a escala mundial, poco desempleo y una calificación crediticia excelente, pero también tiene salarios estancados, bancos deshechos, inversión insuficiente, pocos aumentos de productividad, una demografía deprimente y un aumento de la producción anémico. Su modelo económico, encaminado a empobrecer al vecino –al  mantener en un nivel bajo los salarios para subvencionar las exportaciones–, no debe servir de ejemplo para el resto de la zona del euro.

La economía de Alemania se contrajo en el segundo trimestre de 2014 y tan sólo ha crecido un 3,6 por ciento desde la crisis financiera mundial, ligeramente más que Francia y el Reino Unido, pero menos de la mitad de la tasa de Suecia, Suiza y los Estados Unidos. Desde 2000, el crecimiento del PIB por término medio ha sido de tan sólo el 1,1 por ciento anual, por lo que ocupa el puesto décimo tercero entre los dieciocho miembros de la zona del euro.

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