Los detalles de Eurolandia

La aparición tranquila de billetes y monedas denominados en euros ha desencadenado una valiosa reconsideración de los objetivos últimos de la unión monetaria de Europa. Persisten dos puntos de vista, que han circulado desde que el proceso empezó a fines de los ochenta. El primero sostiene que la unión monetaria sólo busca consolidar el Mercado Interno Unico de bienes y servicios. El segundo considera al euro como un mecanismo para forjar una unión política más firme. Estas dos metas son complementarias, pero la llegada física del euro ha reabierto viejas divisiones sobre sus aspectos económicos y políticos y, en cierta medida, en cuanto a los detalles de la divisa entre los miembros de la UE.

No se debe subestimar el impacto económico del euro. Aunque el mayor paso hacia la unión monetaria se dio cuando las divisas nacionales se convirtieron en subdivisiones del euro, la llegada de los billetes y monedas ofrece ventajas adicionales. La transparencia en los precios al consumidor fortalecerá la competencia. Los precios y las expectativas de inflación tenderán ahora a estar guiados cada vez más por una tasa de inflación común, que se mantendrá baja mediante una política monetaria conjunta, y no por precios nacionales erráticos y divergentes. También es de esperarse una profundización de la integración financiera. Por último, la naturaleza irreversible de la unificación monetaria será cada vez más clara para los ciudadanos.

Sin embargo, ¿mejorará la culminación de la unificación monetaria la unión política de Europa? Para obtener una imagen más clara, los asuntos relativos a la unión monetaria deben mantenerse separados de las cuestiones políticas más amplias.

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