L’ancre de l’Europe

FRANCFORT – L’euro, avec moins de dix années d’existence, est indubitablement une monnaie jeune. Elle est pourtant devenue une réalité quotidienne pour presque 320 millions de personnes dans 15 pays européens. Après sa performance lors de la crise financière de cette année, même ses critiques les plus acerbes ne peuvent nier que la monnaie européenne est un succès étourdissant.

Cet été, des millions de voyageurs n’ont pas eu besoin d’acquitter des frais de change élevés. Mais, pour le commerce et l’investissement, l’avantage induit par l’absence de risque lié au change dans la zone euro a une bien plus grande importance économique. Pour les membres de la zone euro, la monnaie commune vient compléter le marché commun.

Depuis 1999, les membres de l’Union économique et monétaire (UEM) ont connu plusieurs chocs exogènes graves : l’augmentation du cours du baril de pétrole, passé d’environ 10 $US à 150 $US ; l’effondrement des marchés après l’explosion de la bulle Internet ; l’accroissement du risque terroriste après le 11 septembre 2001 et deux guerres. Depuis l’été dernier, l’effondrement du marché américain des sub-primes a provoqué des turbulences dans les marchés financiers, sans qu’on puisse en prévoir la fin.

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