Le dilemme du désendettement pour l’Europe émergente

LONDRES – Il fut un temps où la société serbe Tigar Corporation, fabricant privé de pneus et chambres à air automobiles, constituait une véritable une figure emblématique du remodelage des entreprises au sein des économies en transition. Puis apparut la nécessité du désendettement de la zone euro, projetant cette figure sur une toile de fond bien plus sombre.

Lorsque Tigar a cédé sa division Pneumatiques au géant français Michelin, la société a investi l’intégralité des fruits de cette transaction dans de nouvelles activités. Bien que le montant du capital investi ait pu sembler ambitieux, il permit d’engendrer une croissance rapide des exportations. Plus de 2 000 emplois furent également créés dans la petite ville de Pirot, pour la fabrication de bottes destinées aux pêcheurs européens et aux pompiers de New York, ainsi que pour la conception de produits techniques en matière caoutchouc. Cette expansion fut, à défaut d’autres options, financée largement au travers de prêts à court terme.

De nombreuses banques en Serbie ainsi que dans d’autres États européens en transition dépendent considérablement du financement alloué par leurs institutions mères de la zone euro. Or, depuis le début de la crise financière mondiale, les filiales des banques de la zone euro situées dans les pays européens émergents ont réduit leur exposition dans ces régions. En 2009-2010, l’Initiative pour la coordination des banques européennes – couramment baptisée « Initiative de Vienne » – a permis d’éviter une crise systémique des États européens en développement, en empêchant les banques mères détenues à l’étranger de se livrer à une bousculade catastrophique vers la sortie.

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