Les quatre Neins de l’Allemagne

BERLIN – La position de l'Allemagne envers l'Europe est de plus en plus caractérisée par le rejet et le désengagement. Ses décideurs interdisent aux pays en crise de la zone euro de recourir à une politique budgétaire plus active ; refusent de soutenir un programme d'investissement européen en vue de stimuler la demande et la croissance ; ont déclaré que leur premier objectif intérieur est un excédent budgétaire, plutôt qu’une croissance potentielle plus rapide ; et ont commencé à se retourner contre la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) dans la lutte contre la déflation et un resserrement du crédit. L'Allemagne a tort sur toute la ligne.

Bien sûr, il est justifié pour l'Allemagne de rejeter les appels bornés de la France et de l'Italie pour une expansion budgétaire inconditionnelle. Après tout, la relance budgétaire ne peut fonctionner que si elle encourage l'investissement privé et est accompagnée par des réformes structurelles beaucoup plus ambitieuses – le genre de réformes auxquelles s’opposent actuellement la France et l'Italie.

Pourtant, l'Allemagne dispose de tout l'effet de levier nécessaire pour mettre en œuvre les réformes axées sur la stabilité qu'elle veut pour l'Europe. Tout d’abord, l'Allemagne, ainsi que la Commission européenne, peut obliger la France à poursuivre des réformes plus profondes en échange d’un délai supplémentaire pour consolider son déficit.

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