Le moment décisif des choix budgétaires de l’Irlande

DUBLIN – L’ex-président français Jacques Chirac a déjà déclaré que « La construction de l’Europe est un art, l’art du possible ». Si la construction de l’Europe était l’art du possible, alors sa déconstruction, ou pis encore, son effondrement, serait un exercice empreint des plus grandes frayeurs et douleurs.

C’était la situation dans laquelle les dirigeants européens se trouvaient l’automne dernier. L’euro était en grande difficulté, entouré de rumeurs de faillites bancaires imminentes. Les rendements des obligations en Europe du Sud se sont mis à grimper, et un sentiment omniprésent de craintes et d’appréhensions surplombait les gouvernements des capitales européennes. Or, personne à l’époque n’a su faire preuve de leadership politique.

Des mesures décisives ont finalement été prises en décembre, consistant en un « traité fiscal », qui renforcerait le Pacte de stabilité et de croissance et surtout entraînerait des sanctions automatiques forçant les membres de la zone euro à respecter ces règles. En parallèle, la Banque centrale européenne a déclenché son opération de renflouement à long terme de 1 billion € (1,3 billion $), qui a empêché le système bancaire européen de tomber dans le précipice.

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