¿Recurrirá Grecia al FMI?

WASHINGTON, DC – Tradicionalmente, “debes recurrir al FMI” no es algo que diríamos a vecinos amistosos y aliados muy cercanos. En los últimos decenios, se ha relacionado al Fondo Monetario Internacional con una austeridad fiscal excesiva, insensibilidad política extrema y –desde la crisis financiera asiática de 1997-1998– con un absoluto estigma. Los países pedían préstamos al FMI sólo cuando no les quedaba más remedio, cuando todo lo demás fallaba y no había, sencillamente, otra forma de pagar importaciones esenciales. (En el caso de Islandia en el otoño de 2008, por ejemplo, la única opción substitutiva de la financiación del FMI era comer sólo productos locales, es decir, más que nada pescado.)

Pero el FMI ha cambiado mucho en los últimos años, en gran medida con los auspicios de Dominique Strauss-Kahn, su actual Director Gerente. Éste, ex ministro de Hacienda francés, que aspiró a la candidatura socialista a la Presidencia de Francia, ha promovido cambios que permiten al FMI prestar sin condiciones en algunas circunstancias y conceder mayor prioridad a la protección de las redes de seguridad social (incluidas las prestaciones de desempleo y los sistemas de salud). Además, ha apartado al Fondo con decisión de su obsesión con las medidas fiscales austeras (un gran error anterior, que tuvo consecuencias traumáticas duraderas, en Indonesia y en Corea a finales de 1997).

No cabe duda de que actualmente Grecia tiene problemas graves. Las grandes oportunidades ofrecidas por la integración europea han resultado despilfarradas en gran parte y los bajos tipos de interés durante el pasado decenio, reducidos a niveles alemanes gracias a que se permitió a Grecia, con bastante generosidad, el ingreso en la zona del euro, apenas propiciaron otra cosa que mayores déficits y una peligrosa acumulación de deuda estatal.

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