Beach in Puerto Rico

Porto Rico et le piége de la dette

WASHINGTON, DC – Un drame humain se déroule dans les Caraïbes, à Porto Rico : le "territoire" le plus vaste des USA traverse une grave crise d'endettement. En l'absence de solution politique en 2016, le flux migratoire vers le continent pourrait avoir l'ampleur de l'exode des populations de l'Oklahoma, de l'Arkansas et d'autres Etats victimes de catastrophes écologiques dans les années 1930.

Le service de la dette publique (le principal plus les intérêts) devant atteindre presque 40% des rentrées budgétaires en 2016, Porto Rico doit changer de politique économique. L'austérité ne marchera pas, la reprise doit s'appuyer sur les investissements et encourager la croissance en diminuant les charges qui pèsent sur les entreprises.

L'île peut-elle s'engager sur cette voie ? La plus grande partie de ses 73 milliards de dollars de dette est constituée par des obligations d'entreprises publiques. Le chapitre 9 de la loi fédérale sur les faillites qui permet la restructuration de ce type de dettes ne s'applique pas aux territoires américains tels que Porto Rico. Aussi peut-on prévoir une longue série de défauts de remboursement à l'égard de certains créanciers et d'interminables batailles juridiques. Le coût des services essentiels (l'électricité, l'eau, le tout à l'égout et les transports) va augmenter et leur qualité diminuer.

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