Hemlut Schmidt Wikimedia Commons

Le Monde d’Helmut Schmidt

BERLIN – Avec l’ancien chancelier Helmut Schmidt, mort cette semaine [le 10 novembre] à l’âge de quatre-vingt-seize ans, L’Allemagne a perdu l’un de ses géants. Schmidt avait été ministre de la Défense, de 1969 à 1972, puis ministre des Finances, de 1972 à 1974 et enfin chancelier fédéral, de 1974 à 1982. Si notre époque semble particulièrement troublée, les années durant lesquelles Schmidt gouverna l’Allemagne furent tout sauf tranquilles.

C’était au temps de l’Ostpolitik et de la détente, de la première crise pétrolière mondiale, de la récession économique, de la stagflation, et du retour en Europe d’un chômage de masse. Sa génération dut affronter, à l’intérieur, le fléau du terrorisme, et assista, à l’extérieur, à la révolution iranienne, à l’invasion de l’Afghanistan par les troupes soviétiques, à la naissance et au développement de Solidarnosc, en Pologne.

Schmidt a laissé le souvenir d’un pragmatique, d’un homme de terrain, mais surtout d’un remarquable gestionnaire de crises. Il fit très tôt preuve de son jugement et de ses capacités à diriger, lorsqu’en charge du ministère l’Intérieur dans le gouvernement de Hambourg, il dut faire face à la grande inondation de 1962, qui dévasta la ville-État. Il consolida son image de pragmatique en ne cessant d’affirmer le profond scepticisme que lui inspiraient les grands desseins et les visions à long terme, sans jamais se départir de la conviction que l’action politique devait être moralement fondée. Il n’est donc pas surprenant que Karl Popper, avec son approche pratique mais appuyée à des valeurs, fût son philosophe de prédilection.

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