Ainda na edição de hoje do Financial Times recomendo a leitura do artigo onde o Wolfgang Schäuble fundamenta a posição alemã sobre a austeridade. Não concordando com tudo, é um artigo exemplar onde o Ministro das Finanças alemão aborda vários assuntos que a maior parte dos políticos europeus evitam falar. (meus destaques)
As we acted, we saw our budget turn from a nearly balanced position to a deficit of 5 per cent of gross domestic product. Just as it would be dangerous to remove such support abruptly, governments should not become addicted to borrowing as a quick fix to stimulate demand. Deficit spending cannot become a permanent state of affairs.(…)
Behind the calls for us to pursue a more expansionary fiscal course lie two different approaches to economic policymaking on each side of the Atlantic. While US policymakers like to focus on short-term corrective measures, we take the longer view and are, therefore, more preoccupied with the implications of excessive deficits and the dangers of high inflation.
So are German consumers. This aversion to deficits and inflationary fears, which have their roots in German history in the past century, may appear peculiar to our American friends, whose economic culture is, in part, shaped by deflationary episodes. Yet these fears are among the most potent factors of consumption and saving rates in our country. Seeking to engineer more domestic demand by raising government borrowing even further would, here at least, be counterproductive. On the contrary, restoring confidence in our ability to cut the deficit is a prerequisite for balanced and sustainable growth.
Demography is another reason why we must work harder at reducing deficits in the medium term than many others. Not only are Germans getting older, but our population is also shrinking year after year. This will make it harder for future generations to service our debts and, in time, will reduce our growth potential to about 1.5 per cent a year. Whereas the US, with its more vital demographic trends, can hope to “grow” its way out of its public debt, this is not an avenue that is open to us.(…)
We will abide by the rules of the “debt brake” and by its European equivalent, the stability and growth pact, not for prestige reasons, not just because we are legally bound to, nor, as has been comically suggested, out of masochism, but because it is the best way to inspire confidence in our citizens and investors that the state can cope with the current situation.
Without this confidence there can be no durable growth. This is the lesson of the recent crisis. This is what financial markets, in their unambiguous reaction to excessive budget deficits, are telling us and our partners in Europe and elsewhere