Ajuster à temps ou se préparer au manquement

BRUXELLES – Tandis que le plan de sauvetage de la Grèce par le Fonds monétaire international et l’Union européenne s’élevant à 45 milliards d’euros se met en route, la nécessité d’une nouvelle approche, bien plus générale, saute aux yeux. Nous avons deux problèmes à régler : la crédibilité du programme de stabilisation fiscale de la Grèce et la manière de couvrir  l’absence de fonds à moyen terme dans ce pays.

Tout le monde sait que l’amplitude de l’ajustement fiscal exigé est un effort de taille pour la Grèce. Il faut réduire le déficit d’au moins 10 % du PIB (d’environ 13 % à moins de 3 % du PIB). Le problème fondamental, qui n’a pas encore été abordé, concerne le fait qu’un ajustement fiscal de cette ampleur oblige le gouvernement à prendre des mesures qui ne peuvent être appliquées qu’avec l’approbation générale de la population : une réduction des salaires et une réduction des dépenses sociales. Tandis qu’elles sont indispensables, ces deux mesures ne font pas l’unanimité en Grèce aujourd’hui.

Les soucis de compétitivité du pays ne sont un secret pour personne. Le coût unitaire de la main d’ouvre a augmenté de 10 à 20 % de plus qu’en Allemagne. Si la Grèce souhaite rester dans la zone euro, elle va devoir se plier à une “dévaluation interne”, c'est-à-dire à une réduction significative du salaire nominal.

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