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Reform oder Scheidung in Europa

NEW YORK – Zu sagen, die Eurozone habe sich seit der Krise von 2008 nicht gut entwickelt, ist eine Untertreibung. Ihren Mitgliedsstaaten ging es schlechter als den Ländern der Europäischen Union außerhalb der Eurozone, und viel schlechter als den Vereinigten Staaten, die das Epizentrum der Krise waren.

Die Eurozonen-Länder mit der schwächsten Leistung stecken in einer Depression oder tiefen Rezession. Ihr Zustand – denken wir an Griechenland – ist in vielerlei Hinsicht schlimmer als das, was manche Volkswirtschaften während der Großen Depression der 1930er erlitten. Die leistungsstärksten Eurozonen-Länder wie Deutschland machen einen guten Eindruck, aber nur im direkten Vergleich. Ihr Wachstumsmodell beruht teilweise auf einer „Beggar-Thy-Neighbor“-Politik, bei der der Erfolg auf Kosten ehemaliger „Partner“ geht.

Es vier Arten von Erklärungen, wie es zu dieser Lage kommen konnte: Deutschland beispielsweise gibt gern den Opfern die Schuld und verweist auf Griechenlands Verschwendung und die Schulden und Defizite anderer Länder. Aber damit wird das Pferd von hinten aufgezäumt: Spanien und Irland hatten vor der Eurokrise Überschüsse und im Verhältnis zum BIP eine geringe Verschuldung. Also wurden die Defizite und Schulden durch die Krise verursacht und nicht umgekehrt.

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