Consolidation de l'euro

L'euro a maintenant six ans. Il est plus que temps d'examiner ses performances et de déterminer s'il s'est montré à la hauteur des attentes qui ont présidé à sa naissance.

Ces attentes n'étaient pas modestes. En diminuant les coûts de transaction et en supprimant l'incertitude liée aux taux de change, la monnaie européenne unique devait déboucher sur des marchés financiers et de produits pleinement intégrés qui, à leur tour, auraient entraîné un accroissement des bénéfices commerciaux, intensifié la concurrence, augmenté les flux de capitaux transfrontaliers, diminué les coûts d'emprunt et accru le nombre d'opportunités de partage du risque, pour développer en fin de compte l'investissement et la productivité.

La réalité s'est révélée décevante. Comparée aux cinq années qui ont précédé le lancement de l'euro en 1999, la croissance de la productivité a depuis lors ralenti en Italie, en Allemagne, en Espagne et aux Pays-Bas, tandis qu'elle a accéléré ou est demeurée constante au cours de la même période au Danemark, en Suède et au RU, à savoir les membres de l'Union Européenne qui n'ont pas choisi l'euro comme monnaie. En effet, à l'exception de la France, l'euro ne semble pas avoir été une bénédiction pour les pays qui l'ont adopté.

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