Une stratégie de survie pour la zone euro

NEW YORK – Après les crises grecque et irlandaise et la propagation de la contagion financière au Portugal, l’Espagne et même potentiellement l’Italie, la zone euro est maintenant en pleine crise. Il existe trois scénarios possibles : « s’en sortir tant bien que mal », en poursuivant l’approche actuelle consistant à « prêter et prier » ; « se séparer », avec des restructurations de dettes désordonnées et la sortie potentielle des membres les plus faibles ; et « renforcer l’intégration », impliquant la formation d’une union fiscale sous une forme ou sous une autre.

Le scénario consistant à s’en sortir tant bien que mal – avec des aides financières aux états membres en difficulté (conditionnelles à un ajustement fiscal et des réformes structurelles), dans l’espoir qu’ils soient illiquides mais solvables – est un déséquilibre instable. En effet, il pourrait mener au scénario de séparation désordonnée si les réformes institutionnelles et d’autres politiques visant une plus forte intégration et une restauration de la croissance dans la périphérie de la zone euro ne sont pas mises en ouvre rapidement.

La crise a commencé avec des niveaux de dette privée et d’effet de levier trop importants. La dette privée fut ensuite transformée en dette publique et en déficits lorsque la crise et la récession provoquèrent une détérioration fiscale et que la plupart des pertes privées furent socialisées par le sauvetage des systèmes financiers. A ce moment, les états en difficulté qui avaient déjà perdu l’accès au marché – la Grèce et l’Irlande – furent renfloués par le Fond Monétaire International et l’Union Européenne.

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