Lo peor y lo mejor de la austeridad

BRUSELAS – En junio, fue Grecia. En agosto, fueron Francia, Italia, España y Portugal. En septiembre, fue nuevamente Grecia -y España-. En noviembre, fue el turno otra vez de Francia, antes de que le tocara a Italia una vez más en diciembre, esta vuelta de manera contundente. Todos los meses, a pesar de una perspectiva cada vez más oscura para el crecimiento económico, los países anuncian nuevos recortes de gastos y aumentos de impuestos con la esperanza de restablecer la confianza en los mercados de bonos. Sólo Alemania se destaca, al haber anunciado recientemente un recorte impositivo, si bien es cierto que fue modesto.

En otras palabras, mientras todos los indicadores apuntan a una caída económica seria en Europa, los diferenciales de tasas de interés actuales de la eurozona están provocando un giro hacia la austeridad. Parece una pavada: es preferible acelerar recortes del presupuesto que un incremento letal de las tasas de interés sobre la deuda pública, incluso si los recortes aumentan el riesgo de recesión. Pero existen advertencias.

Primero, si bien una austeridad indiscriminada puede ser la única opción para aquellos países de la eurozona que ya no tienen acceso a los mercados de capital, otros tienen más opciones en materia de políticas. La consolidación es necesaria, pero los gobiernos son responsables de su velocidad y su diseño.

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