Lancer de dé à Chypre

PRINCETON – La tâche ne saurait être aisée : imposer des pertes de l’ordre de 5,8 milliards d’euros (7,5 milliards de dollars) à ceux qui ont prêté au gouvernement chypriote et aux déposants des banques du pays. Et maintenant, cet effort a mené l’Europe dans son ultime impasse.

Dans le cadre de négociations marathon, le gouvernement chypriote, sous la supervision de la troïka constituée de la Commission Européenne, de la Banque Centrale Européenne et du Fonds Monétaire International, a convenu d’une taxe ponctuelle sur les dépôts bancaires. Mais en dépit d’un amendement pour exempter les comptes de moins de 20 000 euros, le parlement chypriote a massivement rejeté ce plan, laissant Chypre – et l’Europe – en suspens.

En fait, les gros déposants sont assez comparables aux détenteurs d’obligations de premier rang, et la diminution proposée était une étape minime mais bienvenue. Mais parce qu’elle n’est pas allé assez loin, un trou est resté. D’autres options étaient possibles. Lee Buchheit, avocat grand spécialiste de la dette souveraine qui aurait du se trouver dans la salle des négociations, et Mitu Gulati de l’Université Duke ont proposé un élégant “re-profilage” de la dette souveraine chypriote de 15 milliards d’euros qui réduirait instantanément la pression financière sur le pays. Mais de telles considérations ont totalement été effacées de la table des négociations bien avant que la délibération ne commence.

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