El dolor sin ganancia de Europa

VITORIA-GASTEIZ – En una reciente entrevista, el presidente francés François Hollande dijo algo de crucial importancia, pero que frecuentemente se olvida: puntualizó que existen límites al nivel de sacrificio que se puede exigir a los ciudadanos de los países del sur de Europa que atraviesan problemas financieros. Para evitar convertir a Grecia, Portugal y España en “reformatorios” colectivos, razonó Hollande, las personas necesitan esperanza más allá del horizonte de recortes de gastos y medidas de austeridad que cada vez se extienden más.

Incluso el conocimiento más elemental de la psicología apoya la evaluación de Hollande. Es poco probable que se logren las metas a través de refuerzos negativos y gratificaciones diferidas a menos que se perciba una luz al final del túnel – una recompensa en el futuro por los sacrificios de hoy.

El pesimismo del público en el sur de Europa es en gran parte atribuible a la ausencia de tal recompensa. A medida que la confianza de los consumidores declina y el poder adquisitivo de los hogares profundiza la recesión, los pronósticos sobre cuándo la crisis llegará a su fin se alejan en el tiempo de manera repetitiva, y los que sufren los embates de la austeridad están perdiendo la esperanza.

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