La ilusión de las deudas condonadas

ROMA: Gobernantes de todo el mundo se reunirán en Bruselas bajo los auspicios de la ONU el 14 de mayo para discutir la situación de los países pobres. Durante las pláticas, los líderes de los países ricos podrían asumir una actitud complaciente, recordando el viejo proverbio que dice que perdonar es divino. Hace poco más de un año, acordaron perdonar gran parte de la deuda de los países más pobres. Por supuesto, perdonar las deudas de los pobres es algo noble, sin duda. Desgraciadamente, no todo lo que es noble es sensato y efectivo.

Muchas de las deudas de los países pobres que se han condonado ya estaban consideradas de facto como pérdidas irrecuperables. Como resultado de esto, los pagos de intereses y capital que hacían muchos de los países pobres eran mucho menores de lo que realmente se debía. Por ejemplo, Etiopía estaba pagando una cantidad equivalente al 10% de sus exportaciones. Se habrían necesitado pagos del 70% para cubrir el valor nominal de su deuda.

El Acuerdo de Colonia sobre países pobres con los mayores niveles de deuda –la Iniciativa para los Países Pobres Altamente Endeudados (PPAE)—que se alcanzó el año pasado declara que las deudas se perdonarán hasta el punto en que los pagos de intereses se hagan “sostenibles”. En otras palabras, el acuerdo sustituye deudas irrecuperables por una carga que nominalmente es menor pero “real”. De acuerdo con cálculos del Tesoro británico, con el acuerdo PPAE, Mozambique paga más o menos la misma proporción por servicio de deuda que lo que pagaba antes de la firma del acuerdo.

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