Chris Van Es

L'Europe et ses trois crises

PALO ALTO – L'Europe doit faire face simultanément à une crise de la dette souveraine, à une crise bancaire et à une crise de l'euro. La situation économique et les pressions politiques créent des frictions entre les citoyens, entre les Etats et entre ces derniers et les institutions supranationales comme la Banque centrale européenne (BCE). On entend de plus en plus d'appels à l'abandon de la souveraineté en matière de budget, à une recapitalisation spectaculaire d'un système bancaire vulnérable et/ou à l'exclusion de la Grèce et peut-être des autres membres en péril de la zone euro (ou à l'établissement d'une union monétaire temporaire à deux vitesses).

Dans ce contexte périlleux, les responsables politiques utilisent désespérément différentes institutions, notamment la BCE, le FMI et le Fonds européen de stabilité financière (FESF) pour apaiser la panique et éviter la contagion et le risque de récession. Mais vont-ils dans la bonne direction ?

La crise de la dette souveraine, du système bancaire et de l'euro sont interdépendantes. Beaucoup de banques européennes faiblement capitalisées seraient insolvables si leurs actifs étaient évalués instantanément par le marché, car elles détiennent en quantité de la dette souveraine des pays périphériques de la zone euro qui n'inspire guère confiance. Leur désendettement freine la reprise économique. Et l'important ajustement budgétaire nécessaire pour la Grèce, l'Irlande et le Portugal, pour ne pas mentionner l'Italie et l'Espagne, seront des facteurs de perturbation économique et sociale. Un défaut s'accompagnerait probablement d'une contraction économique considérable (le PIB de l'Argentine a chuté de 15% lorsqu'elle a fait défaut en 2002).

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