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Le mal autrichien

MUNICH – En mai dernier, l'Autriche a évité de justesse l'élection d'un président issu d'un parti xénophobe, le FPÖ (Parti de la liberté d'Autriche). Or ce parti conteste le résultat du scrutin. Etant donné le caractère inquiétant de cette contestation, ses conséquences en ce qui concerne l'Europe et le traitement de la crise des réfugiés, il faut identifier ce dont souffre l'Autriche, pour que le remède ne soit pas pire que le mal.

Il fut une période où on considérait l'Autriche comme l'un des pays européens au taux de croissance le plus élevé, le voisin le plus prospère de l'Allemagne. Mais depuis 2012 son économie montre des signes d'essoufflement. L'année dernière le taux de croissance de son PIB était de seulement 0,7%, devançant seulement la Grèce et la Finlande, tandis que son taux de chômage a fait un bond, passant de 5% en 2010 à 10% aujourd'hui.

Cette situation tient à la politique de l'Autriche à l'égard de l'Europe centrale et de l'Europe de l'Est après la chute du communisme. Au début elle a bénéficié de l'élargissement de l'UE vers l'Est. Le commerce international s'est intensifié, les entreprises autrichiennes ont énormément investi dans les pays de la région, les banques autrichiennes y ont ouvert des succursales, ce qui a financé leur modernisation. Tout cela était bon pour les affaires, aussi l'économie autrichienne a-t-elle eu une croissance rapide.

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