por ABM (25 de Novembro de 2010)
Enquanto as màs notícias abundam, o Economist publicou hoje um texto que recorda que as coisas poderão piorar “mesmo”, se a Espanha caminhar em 2011 para uma situação de estagnação de proporções épicas.
Para quem não reparou, a Espanha é aquele país na ponta do qual Portugal está metido. É só um dos investidores de referência em Portugal, e o país de onde Portugal mais importa e para onde mais exporta.
Isto sem descurar a situação doméstica periclitante.
Se – interrogo-me – o colosso espanhol se afundar, como vai ser em Portugal?
O artigo do Economist na sua plenitude AQUI.
A parte relevante do artigo em baixo, no original em inglês:
If the markets are neither persuaded by the Irish bail-out nor reassured that Dublin will push through its budget, they seem almost as fretful about the Iberian countries. After Greece in May and Ireland this month, Portugal is clearly next in line. This week a general strike was called against budget austerity. Yet the Socialist-led government of José Sócrates has no alternative. Portugal’s banks may be healthier than Ireland’s, but the country is mired in slow growth and a large budget deficit. In the markets’ current mood, a bail-out similar to Ireland’s seems almost inevitable.
The real concern now is not Portugal but Spain. The Spanish economy is much bigger than those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined. The government’s financing requirement next year, though comparable as a share of GDP, similarly dwarfs those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal taken together (see chart 2). It is a Spanish mantra, requiring a mere change of name of euro-area countries, to insist that Spain is different. “We’re not Greece!” has become “We’re not Ireland!”, and will shortly become “We’re not Portugal!”
In all three cases the Spanish are correct, though that is not always a comfort. To start with, a bail-out of Spain would be on a different scale. When the €750 billion European Financial Stability Facility was designed in May, few people thought that it would be needed to cope with Spain as well as the other three weak euro-area countries. And there seemed little likelihood that it would have to.
What may help is that Spain has been a lot better behaved than the other three and so seems much less in need of a bail-out. A national debt of only 53% of GDP last year was a full 21 points below the EU average. Spain has neither Ireland’s broken banks nor Greece’s profligate public finances. Its austerity targets are more credible than Portugal’s.
But as a broken Ireland seeks help and a shaky Portugal puts Iberia in the spotlight (not least because Spanish banks are heavily exposed to Portugal), there are understandable fears that Spain will catch the bug next. “Contagion has spread to Greek debt, to Portuguese debt and, to a lesser degree, to our own debt as well as Italy’s and even Belgium’s,” admitted the Bank of Spain’s governor, Miguel Fernández Ordóñez, this week.