¿Quién perdió a Europa?

CAMBRIDGE – En Europa se ha evitado el colapso financiero – por ahora. No obstante, el futuro de la Unión Europea y el destino de la zona euro penden de un hilo. Si Europa no halla pronto la forma de reactivar la economía del continente, estará condenada a pasar años de oscuridad y de recriminaciones interminables sobre “quién saboteó el proyecto europeo.”

Puesto que en 2009 sufrió un colapso económico más profundo que la de los Estados Unidos, la economía de Europa se enfrenta a una recuperación mucho más lenta – si puede llamársele así. El Fondo Monetario Internacional prevé que la zona euro crezca únicamente un 1% este año y un 1.5% en 2011, frente al 3.1% y el 2.6% en el caso de los Estados Unidos. Incluso se espera que Japón, que se encuentra en una depresión profunda desde los años noventa, crezca más rápido que Europa.

El crecimiento europeo está limitado por problemas de deuda y preocupaciones sostenidas sobre la solvencia de Grecia y otros miembros de la UE que están fuertemente endeudados. A medida que el sector privado se desapalanca e intenta reconstruir sus hojas de balance, la demanda de bienes de consumo y de inversiones se ha colapsado, arrastrando con ella a la producción. Además de apretarse el cinturón, hasta ahora los líderes europeos no han ofrecido una solución para el enigma del crecimiento.

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