Greece woman on street Michael Debets/ZumaPress

Comment faire défaut sur sa dette souveraine

ITHACA – Le risque financier entourant les dettes de la Grèce soulève la question de savoir si (et quand) le pays entrera en défaut. De toute évidence, il serait beaucoup moins dommageable pour la Grèce et ses créanciers de s’entendre sur une solution négociée. Cette issue apparaît toutefois difficile à atteindre. Le gouvernement grec a d’ores et déjà peiné à fournir un paiement significatif le mois dernier, sachant que d’autres échéances de paiement plus conséquentes expireront au cours de l’été, débutant au mois de juin par un versement de plus d’1,5 milliard € dans le cadre des dettes de la Grèce auprès du Fonds monétaire international.

À l’heure où les dirigeants grecs réfléchissent aux différentes options, ils feraient bien de garder à l’esprit combien il existe de meilleurs et de moins bonnes manières de faire défaut sur une dette souveraine – notamment si l’État concerné entend rétablir au plus vite un certain degré de solvabilité. Dans les prochaines semaines et les prochains mois, le gouvernement grec aurait tout intérêt à faire preuve de sagesse en respectant trois principes guides :

Éviter l’invective : Le défaut est une situation douloureuse, même lorsqu’il se révèle un choix approprié à long terme. Au milieu de toute cette souffrance, il peut être tentant d’en pointer certains du doigt. Il est toutefois important de résister à cette tentation. En effet, les débiteurs souverains seront certainement amenés à interagir de nouveau avec les mêmes créanciers et acteurs internationaux. Bien qu’il soit difficile de déterminer la mesure dans laquelle les déclarations peu diplomates de l’Argentine au cours de son épisode de défaut ont mis à mal ses efforts face au système juridique des États-Unis, il est clair que le discours officiel irréfléchi du pays n’a pas amélioré son cas.

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