ECB Frankfurt Dennis Fischer Photography/Getty Images

Empêcher dès maintenant une nouvelle crise de l’euro

PARIS – Depuis qu’en 2012 Mario Draghi, le président de la Banque centrale européenne, s’est engagé à « tout faire pour préserver l’euro », les dirigeants européens n’on prêté qu’une attention distraite à l’avenir de la zone euro. Pendant plus de quatre ans, ils ont sous-traité la stabilité et l’intégrité de la monnaie unique aux banquiers centraux. Mais si la BCE a habilement rempli sa mission, cet arrangement confortable touche à sa fin. Aucune banque centrale ne peut en effet trancher des dilemmes politiques et constitutionnels. Les chefs d’État et de gouvernement européens feraient donc bien de remettre l’ouvrage sur le métier et de réfléchir à l’avenir de la zone euro plutôt que de laisser les circonstances décider pour eux.

Jusqu’à présent, les dirigeants européens ont montré peu d’intérêt pour une telle discussion. En juin 2015, ils se contentèrent d’accueillir poliment le rapport sur l’avenir de l’euro rédigé par les présidents des différentes institutions européennes. Quelques semaines plus tard, la question de l’avenir de l’euro s’invita brièvement dans les discussions à l’occasion de la longue nuit de juillet que les dirigeants de la zone passèrent à se demander s’ils devaient ou non en expulser la Grèce. Mais leur volonté affichée de poursuivre ces discussions et de traiter les problèmes sous-jacents à ce débat fit long feu. Enfin, l’idée de répondre au choc du Brexit par un renforcement de la zone euro furent promptement abandonnée, par crainte d’une réforme trop clivante. 

La question n’a pas disparu pour autant. Si les anesthésiants monétaires administrés par la BCE ont réduit les tensions sur les marchés, la nervosité les a repris à l’approche du référendum constitutionnel italien du 4 décembre. Fin novembre, les écarts de taux entre les obligations italiennes et allemandes à dix ans atteignaient les 200 points de base, un niveau jamais vu depuis 2014.

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