Le trou de ver budgétaire de l’Europe

BRUXELLES – Le Fonds monétaire international estime actuellement à 30 % le risque de déflation dans la zone euro, tandis que les chiffres de croissance au sein de l’union monétaire demeurent décevants. Les dirigeants européens semblent néanmoins pris au piège d’un jeu de ficelle autour de contraintes économiques, politiques et juridiques, qui empêchent toute action efficace. Ainsi la concrétisation des règles liées aux politiques semble-t-elle irréalisable à défaut de croissance, tandis que la croissance apparaît impossible sans une violation de ces règles.

Le ministre allemand des Finances Wolfgang Schäuble est politiquement déterminé à renchérir sur le cadre budgétaire stricte de son pays, afin de parvenir à ce qu’il appelle le budget « zéro dette. » Le gouvernement français s’efforce de retrouver une crédibilité autour de promesses de réformes formulées en échange d’un report de son ajustement budgétaire, tandis que l’Italie, qui croule sous l’un des plus lourds fardeaux de la dette au sein de la zone euro, dispose d’une faible marge de manœuvre en termes de politique budgétaire. Pendant ce temps, la Banque centrale européenne est éprouvée par les doutes sur la légalité de son programme d’ « opérations monétaires sur titres » (OMT) – achats d’obligations souveraines susceptibles d’aboutir à une politique budgétaire redistributive.

L’ensemble des règles semblant pointer vers une récession, comment l’Europe peut-elle espérer booster la reprise ?

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