Les nouveaux philosophes

PRINCETON – À l’occasion du dernier rassemblement des ministres des Finances du G20 qui s’est tenu en Australie, le Secrétaire du Trésor des États-Unis Jack Lew a fait valoir plusieurs « divergences philosophiques par rapport à certains pays européens amis, » avant d’encourager les Européens à accomplir davantage pour booster leur taux de croissance anémique. Il y a là une terminologie sans équivoque, qui souligne toute la difficulté consistant pour l’Europe à trouver le moyen de se sortir de son malaise actuel.

Le ministre canadien des Finances, Joe Oliver, s’est associé à la promotion d’une expansion budgétaire en Europe – point de vue qui semble susciter certains soutiens au sein de la Banque centrale européenne. Le président de la BCE Mario Draghi a en effet recommandé une hausse des dépenses de la part des pays les plus solides sur le plan budgétaire, tels que l’Allemagne. Benoit Coeure, membre du directoire de la BCE, aux côtés de son ancien collègue Jörg Asmussen, actuellement Secrétaire d’État au ministère allemand du Travail, a récemment suggéré qu’il incombait à l’Allemagne d’ « exploiter toute la marge de manœuvre disponible pour promouvoir les investissements et réduire la charge fiscale des travailleurs. »

La quasi-totalité des pays du monde considèrent effectivement qu’il s’agirait pour l’Allemagne d’adopter une politique budgétaire plus expansive, décrivant l’austérité comme une démarche contreproductive, dans la mesure où elle engendre des ralentissements et des récessions qui rendent d’autant plus difficile une consolidation budgétaire à long terme.

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