Quand la vieille Europe éternue, la nouvelle Europe s’enrhume

LONDON – Tandis que d’un bout à l’autre de l’Europe de l’Ouest, les Etats entreprenaient de renflouer les banques et leurs déposants, les Européens de l’Est, inquiets de la menace que contenait, pour eux-mêmes, cette tempête globale financière, se tenaient aux aguets. Ils sont, à leur tour, pris dans la tourmente, et la solidarité européenne voit ses liens fragiles mis à l’épreuve.

Deux pays – la Hongrie et l’Ukraine – ont déjà demandé des plans de soutien de taille. Plusieurs autres pays vont sans doute en faire autant dans le courant du mois qui vient, si le gel des marchés du crédit se prolonge. Et si cette situation devait durer jusqu’à la fin de l’année, ce qui n’est pas à exclure, beaucoup d’autres pays seraient en butte à des crises bancaires graves.

Au cours des vingt dernières années, l’Europe de l’Est a entrepris de vastes réformes et adopté le processus global d’intégration financière. Les banques étrangères, notamment celles de l’Europe de l’Ouest, ont pénétré ses marchés avec une rapidité et une force sans précédent et sont progressivement allé jusqu’à tendre la main à des petites et moyennes entreprises, sujettes à risque, ainsi qu’à aider les gens à acheter leur maison et à monter leur affaire. A présent, ces pays sont à la merci de la prospérité financière.

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