Berlusconi magouille, l'Italie décline

Fiat s'embourbe dans la crise et les présidents des universités démissionnent en masse. Lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture de l'année judiciaire, les juges se sont présentés la constitution à la main, en signe d'avertissement au gouvernement. L'Italie est dans un état tout aussi instable et pitoyable que l'Angleterre il y a 24 ans, quand Margaret Thatcher était chef du gouvernement. Quand il est revenu au pouvoir, Silvio Berlusconi avait promis de véritables réformes à la Thatcher. Mais il n'y en a guère eu, et les quelques-unes qui ont été réalisées étaient surtout destinées à son propre usage.

L'économie italienne se porte mal. Les exportations sont en baisse, le taux de chômage de 9% est supérieur de 1,4 points à la moyenne de l'UE, et le taux d'inflation de l'Italie est presque le double de celui de la France ou de l'Allemagne, alors que les trois pays appartiennent à la zone euro. Le ratio de la dette au PIB qui était en baisse depuis plusieurs années a recommencé à grimper en 2002, atteignant la valeur record de 110%, soit pratiquement le double de la moyenne européenne. Selon le classement établi par le Forum économique mondial, en un an l'Italie est passée de la 26° à la 39° place dans le domaine de la compétitivité commerciale. Avec la crise de Fiat, elle risque de perdre sa dernière grande entreprise industrielle concurrentielle au niveau international.

Surmonter la situation suppose la participation de tous. Le président italien a demandé aux entreprises un effort supplémentaire pour accroître leur compétitivité. Les syndicats devraient revoir leur politique et adopter la même attitude que durant les années 1990, lorsque l'inflation a été vaincue. L'Etat doit améliorer la qualité des services publics et de l'éducation et consacrer davantage de moyens à la recherche et au développement. Le gouvernement doit réformer la protection sociale et le système de retraite. Toutes classes politiques confondues, il faut reconnaître les difficultés du pays et s'entendre pour entreprendre les réformes voulues.

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