La dividida casa del euro

BRUSELAS – La última predicción económica de la Comisión Europea traza un panorama descorazonador: tasas de desempleo próximas al cinco por ciento o más en Austria, Alemania y los Países Bajos en 2014, pero superiores al 25 por ciento en Grecia y España y del 15 por ciento, aproximadamente, en Irlanda y Portugal. En el mismo año, se espera que el PIB por habitante sea el siete por ciento superior a su nivel de antes de la crisis en Alemania, pero el siete por ciento, aproximadamente, inferior en Irlanda, Portugal y España y un aterrador 24 por ciento inferior en Grecia. Así, pues, se espera que persista la profunda división económica y social que ha surgido en la zona del euro.

Semejante abismo dentro de una unión monetaria no puede mantenerse durante mucho tiempo. Como dijo Abraham Lincoln, “una casa dividida contra sí misma no puede mantenerse”. La misma política monetaria no puede atender las necesidades de un país que padece una depresión y otro que tiene pleno empleo o poco le falta. De hecho, la cuestión más importante para el futuro de la zona del euro es la de si se está colmando el desfase entre los miembros prósperos y los que están en apuros.

La interpretación optimista es la de que, pese a no haber señales de mejora en el mercado laboral, los resultados económicos han comenzado a mejorar en realidad y está en marcha un proceso de ajuste. La prueba es, como se aduce con frecuencia, la de que los déficits exteriores se han contraído en gran medida.

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