Le conflit des générations de l'Europe

LONDRES – Alors que la crise financière de l'Europe est passée d'un état aigu à un état chronique, le débat pour désigner un responsable qui en assume les coûts suscite une nouvelle génération de mouvements politiques. A la soi-disant périphérie, des arrivistes politiques promettent aux citoyens une alternative à l'austérité. Dans les pays du « cœur » de la zone euro, ils visent à protéger les contribuables contre les demandes incessantes pour soulager le pays débiteur. La réponse des dirigeants européens face à ces nouveaux challengers politiques déterminera si l'union monétaire se stabilise ou se brise.

La majorité de l'élite politique européenne s'est montrée fortement intégrationniste. Étant donné que ces personnes appartiennent en grande partie à la génération qui a suivi la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ils sont parfaitement conscients des bienfaits d'une Europe pacifique. Dans les années 1990, plusieurs visions de l'intégration européenne ont conduit à un compromis problématique. Afin d'assurer le soutien de la France en faveur de la réunification allemande, l'Allemagne a décidé de créer une union monétaire, mais pas une union fiscale. A présent, l'Europe subit les conséquences de ce pacte avec le diable.

Dans le même temps, les dirigeants européens subissent la pression d'une nouvelle génération d'électeurs, qui ont grandi dans l'ombre de l'effondrement du mur de Berlin. La chute du rideau de fer a offert à l'Ouest une large offre de main-d'œuvre bon marché en Europe de l'Est. L'apparition de la Chine a d'autant plus renforcé cette offre, qui a culminé avec l'entrée de la Chine dans l'Organisation Mondiale du Commerce en 2001. En conséquence, plusieurs économies de l'Europe ont commencé à sombrer.

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