El mito de la austeridad griega

BRUSELAS – Desde la victoria de Syriza, el partido anti-austeridad, en las recientes elecciones generales de Grecia, el “problema griego” nuevamente preocupa a los mercados y a las autoridades formuladoras de políticas a lo largo de toda Europa. Algunos temen un regreso a la incertidumbre del año 2012, época en la que muchos pensaban que la moratoria y la salida de la eurozona de Grecia eran inminentes. En aquel entonces, al igual que ahora, muchos se preocupaban sobre si una crisis de la deuda griega podría desestabilizar – y quizás incluso derrumbar – la unión monetaria europea. Sin embargo, esta vez  la situación es realmente distinta.

Una diferencia fundamental radica en los fundamentos económicos. En el transcurso de los últimos dos años, otros países periféricos de la eurozona han demostrado su capacidad de ajuste, mediante la reducción de sus déficits fiscales, la expansión de sus exportaciones, y su desplazamiento hacia superávits de cuenta corriente, consecuentemente contradiciendo la existencia de una necesidad de financiación. De hecho, Grecia es el único país que ha avanzado arrastrado constantemente sus pies en cuanto a las reformas y que mantuvo un desempeño exportador muy deficiente.

Proporcionar un escudo adicional a los países periféricos es el plan del Banco Central Europeo para iniciar la compra de bonos soberanos. Si bien el gobierno alemán no admite oficialmente la flexibilización cuantitativa, debería estar agradecido con el BCE por calmar los mercados financieros. Ahora Alemania puede tomar una postura firme sobre las demandas del nuevo gobierno griego en cuanto a pedir una condonación a gran escala de la deuda y poner fin a la austeridad, sin tener temor a que en los mercados financieros ocurra el tipo de turbulencia que ocurrió en el año 2012, turbulencia que dejó a la eurozona con poquísimas opciones que no fueran rescatar financieramente a Grecia.

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