Margaret Scott

El acertijo griego

El euro es una construcción única e inusual cuya viabilidad hoy es sometida a prueba. Otmar Issing, uno de los padres de la moneda común, dejó perfectamente en claro el principio sobre el cual se fundaba: el euro estaba destinado a ser una unión monetaria, pero no política. Los estados participantes establecieron un banco central común, pero explícitamente se negaron a renunciar al derecho de gravar a sus propios ciudadanos y cederlo a una autoridad común. Este principio fue venerado en el Artículo 125 del Tratado de Maastricht, que desde entonces ha sido rigurosamente interpretado por la corte constitucional alemana.

El principio, sin embargo, está lleno de errores a la vista. Una moneda hecha y derecha requiere tanto de un banco central como de un tesoro. El tesoro no tiene por qué ser utilizado para gravar a los ciudadanos a diario, pero sí tiene que estar disponible en tiempos de crisis. Cuando el sistema financiero corre el riesgo de colapsar, el banco central puede ofrecer liquidez, pero sólo un tesoro puede lidiar con los problemas de la solvencia. Este es un hecho bien sabido que debería haberle resultado claro a todo aquel involucrado en la creación del euro. Issing admite que él estaba entre quienes creían que “dar inicio a una unión monetaria sin haber establecido una unión política era poner el carro delante del caballo”.

A la Unión Europea se le fue dando vida paso a paso, poniendo el carro delante del caballo: estableciendo objetivos y cronogramas limitados pero políticamente alcanzables, sabiendo plenamente que no serían suficientes y, por ende, que se necesitarían otros pasos posteriores en su debido curso. Pero, por varias razones, el proceso gradualmente se paralizó. La UE hoy está en gran medida congelada en su forma actual.

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