La zone euro doit faire face à la réalité

LONDRES – Le récent discours du président de la BCE, Mario Draghi, lors de la rencontre annuelle des dirigeants des banques centrales à Jackson Hole dans Wyoming a suscité beaucoup d'intérêt, mais les implications de ses remarques sont encore plus surprenantes qu'il n'a semblé sur le moment. Pour éviter l'effondrement de la zone euro, il faut qu'elle échappe à l'ornière de la récession. Cela passe par l'augmentation des déficits budgétaires financés par l'argent de la BCE. La seule question est de savoir si cette réalité va être reconnue explicitement.

Compte tenu des dernières données économiques, les dirigeants de la zone euro ne peuvent plus nier les graves risques déflationnistes visibles depuis au moins deux ans. L'inflation est ancrée à un niveau bien plus bas que la cible de 2% par an fixée par la BCE et la croissance du PIB est quasiment nulle. Sans mesures énergiques, à l'image du Japon depuis les années 1990, la zone euro risque une ou deux décennies perdues de faible croissance, avec toutes les difficultés que cela entraînera.

Jusqu'au mois dernier, l'inquiétude croissante a suscité des propositions guère convaincantes. Jens Weidmann a offert le spectacle inédit d'un président de la Bundesbank appelant à une hausse des salaires. Mais les salaires n'augmenteront pas sans mesures de stimulation.

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