La nueva división de Europa

Atenas – A medida que la crisis de la deuda en la zona del euro continúa ampliando sin cesar la división entre las economías más sólidas del norte de Europa y las más débiles y endeudadas del sur (Francia podría considerarse una suerte de tierra económica de nadie entre ellas), todos se hacen una pregunta: ¿Puede sobrevivir la unión monetaria europea?, de hecho, ¿puede sobrevivir la propia Unión Europea?

Mientras los miembros septentrionales de la zona del euro disfrutan un bajo costo de endeudamiento y un crecimiento estable, los meridionales chocan contra elevados costos de endeudamiento, recesión, y profundos recortes en el ingreso y el gasto social. También han sufrido sustanciales caídas en el producto y presentan tasas de desempleo mucho más elevadas que las de sus contrapartes del norte. El desempleo en la zona del euro en su conjunto es en promedio cercano al 12 %, cuando en España y Grecia supera el 25 % y, en este último país, el desempleo juvenil se encuentra en el 60 %. De hecho, si bien el ingreso agregado per cápita en la zona del euro se mantiene en niveles similares a 2007, Grecia ha retrocedido a sus niveles de 2000 e Italia se encuentra actualmente en algún punto cercano a 1997.

El deterioro de las economías del sur de Europa se debe en gran medida a un exceso de austeridad y a la ausencia de medidas para compensar la retracción de la demanda. La devaluación monetaria –que impulsaría la competitividad de la industria local al reducir el precio de las exportaciones– obviamente no es una opción en una unión monetaria.

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