Keychain ornament of the Eiffel Tower

L’exception française ?

PARIS – Plus que jamais, l’économie française se situe au cœur du débat mondial entourant le point jusqu’auquel peuvent être repoussées les limites de la taille et du contrôle de l’État dans une démocratie capitaliste. Pour la gauche, les généreux avantages qu’offre la France, ainsi que la solidité des syndicats du pays, constituent la formule d’un État-providence plus inclusif. Aux yeux de la droite, le caractère surdimensionné et intrusif du gouvernement de la France ne constitue que la feuille de route d’un déclin séculaire. Il semble pour l’heure que la droite ait raison.

Autrefois d’un poids économique quasi-équivalent à celui de l’Allemagne, la France s’est retrouvée bien en retard par rapport à celle-ci au cours de la dernière décennie, enregistrant aujourd’hui un PIB par habitant inférieur d’environ 10 % aux chiffres allemands. Bien que la France boxe dans une catégorie située au-dessus de son poids sur le plan politique, elle évolue économiquement sur un ring insuffisamment adapté à son potentiel.

Chaque fois qu’émerge la proposition consistant à changer la zone euro en une union de transfert, ce qui correspond au récent discours du ministre français de l’Économie, Emmanuel Macron, le sous-entendu est celui d’une Allemagne qui supporterait sur ses épaules le poids de tous les autres États. Or, pourquoi l’Allemagne devrait-elle supporter seule cette responsabilité ? L’économie française représente en taille près des trois quarts de l’économie allemande. Le fait de convaincre les Allemands de la volonté et capacité des Français à honorer leur juste part de contribution pourrait ouvrir la voie à de nombreux compromis nécessaires, jusqu’à présent a priori impossibles.

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