Assurer la durabilité d’une zone euro non durable

ATHENES – Lorsque la zone euro fut établie, ses créateurs avaient envisagé un progrès graduel vers une « zone monétaire optimale », caractérisée par une intégration fiscale, la libre circulation des travailleurs et une union politique. Mais ce processus n'a pas eu lieu et, comme la crise grecque interminable l’a montré, la zone euro reste en proie à des faiblesses structurelles et extrêmement vulnérable à des chocs internes. Cela ne peut évidemment pas durer.

Malgré les efforts déployés pour promouvoir une coordination de la politique budgétaire, les budgets des membres de la zone euro continuent de relever de la compétence d’autorités nationales distinctes ; les Européens du nord continuent de s’opposer à des transferts des pays plus riches vers les pays moins prospères, mis à part l'allocation très limitée des fonds régionaux de l'Union européenne. En outre, la mobilité du travail est fortement limitée par les barrières linguistiques et culturelles, ainsi que les entraves administratives. Enfin, une union politique « sans cesse plus étroite » a cessé d'attirer le soutien du public – si tant est qu’elle y soit jamais parvenue – et n’est donc pas réalisable aujourd'hui.

Un nombre croissant de commentateurs – qui vont désormais au-delà du seul monde anglo-saxon – questionne la viabilité de l'union monétaire. Certains encouragent la Grèce à sortir de la zone euro, estimant qu'une union monétaire plus restreinte et homogène serait plus forte et plus facile à unifier. D'autres considèrent qu’une sortie grecque ne sera que le début du dénouement inévitable d'un régime qui ne sert pas l'objectif pour lequel il a été créé.

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