Dean Rohrer

L’euro peut-il être sauvé ?

NEW YORK – La crise financière grecque a réellement mis en danger la survie de l’euro. A la création de l’euro, beaucoup se sont inquiétés de sa viabilité à long terme. En période d’expansion, ces inquiétudes furent oubliées. Mais la question de savoir quels ajustements pourraient être effectués si une partie de la zone euro connaissait un terrible revers restât en suspens. Le fait de fixer un taux de change et de déléguer la politique monétaire à la Banque Centrale Européenne a éliminé deux des principaux moyens par lesquels les gouvernements pouvaient stimuler leur économie pour éviter la récession. Comment les remplacer ?

Le prix Nobel Robert Mundell a établi les conditions selon lesquels une monnaie unique pourrait fonctionner. L’Europe ne remplissait pas ces conditions à l’époque ; et c’est toujours le cas. La suppression des barrières légales à la mobilité des travailleurs a créé un marché du travail unique, mais une mobilité professionnelle à l’américaine est rendue difficile par les différences linguistiques et culturelles.

L’Europe n’a en outre aucun moyen d’aider les pays confrontés à des problèmes graves. L’Espagne par exemple, présente un taux de chômage de 20% - dont plus de 40% chez les jeunes. Elle était en excédent budgétaire avant la crise ; après la crise, le déficit atteint plus de 11% du PIB. Mais, selon les règles de l’Union Européenne, l’Espagne doit désormais réduire ses dépenses ce qui va probablement contribuer à aggraver le chômage. Comme son économie ralentit, l’amélioration de sa situation budgétaire pourrait être minimale.

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