Paul Lachine

L’Europe en crise perpétuelle

ATHENE – Le plan de sauvetage de Chypre constitue un tournant décisif dans la crise de la zone euro, puisque la responsabilité de régler les problèmes des banques n’incombe désormais plus aux contribuables, mais aux investisseurs et aux déposants privés. Mais imposer des pertes majeures aux déposants des banques chypriotes enfreint la garantie assurance des dépôts qui fait partie intégrante de la proposition d’union bancaire européenne, tandis que l’imposition de contrôles des capitaux fragilise plus encore les fondations de l’union monétaire. L’Europe se mordrait-elle la queue ?

L’Allemagne et le noyau dur des pays de la zone euro font valoir que toute mutualisation de la dette au sein de l’union monétaire est inenvisageable, et que le renflouement des pays ou des institutions financières sera compensé par une recapitalisation interne de leurs créanciers. Les incertitudes croissantes concernant la sécurité des dépôts feront monter les taux d’intérêt, aggravant plus encore la récession en Europe ; elles pourraient aussi provoquer une fuite des capitaux depuis les économies affaiblies de la périphérie vers le cœur de l’Europe.

Les implications de cette évolution pourraient avoir de profondes répercussions. Le modèle allemand de résolution de la crise de la dette et du retour à l’équilibre interne et externe repose sur une consolidation budgétaire et des réformes structurelles dans les pays déficitaires. Mais si tous les pays tentent simultanément d’améliorer leur équilibre budgétaire et leur solde extérieur en réduisant les dépenses et en augmentant les taxes, ils sont tous voués à l’échec, parce le plan d’austérité de chaque pays implique une baisse de la demande pour les produits étrangers, ce qui en retour prolonge les déséquilibres internes et externes. Une recapitalisation interne des créanciers ne ferait que renforcer ces tendances.

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