Had today’s policies been adopted from the outset, the Greek crisis might have been controlled sooner, the adjustment for debtors might have been less onerous, and the cost to creditors might have been lower. That said, mistakes were to be expected, particularly when the euro zone was both badly designed and ill-prepared for a crisis.
Fear of catastrophe has forced EU leaders to think more clearly. Debtors know they must reform, and creditors know they must help. The first hints of stabilisation, if that is what is happening, may even bring new problems. Will a reduction of market pressure slow weaker countries’ long and painful march to reform? Will stronger ones ignore the design flaws that make the single currency needlessly unstable?
A hopeful prognosis makes sense only if leaders use a moment of relief to push through structural reforms, remove barriers to the single market, enhance the firewall against contagion and move towards greater fiscal union. One lesson of this week is that, faced with market meltdown, politicians from both debtors and creditors will compromise. But another is that the euro crisis is still far from being resolved for good.
Parece evidente, pues, que esta crisis tiene mucho más de crisis política que de crisis económica.