Le mythe de l’austérité grecque

BRUXELLES – Depuis la victoire de Syriza, le parti anti-austérité au récent scrutin général de la Grèce, le « problème grec » inquiète à nouveau les marchés et les responsables politiques dans toute l’Europe. Certains craignent le retour à l’incertitude de 2012, alors que beaucoup voyaient comme imminentes la défaillance de la Grèce et sa sortie de la zone euro. À cette époque comme aujourd’hui, beaucoup s’inquiétaient des effets éventuels déstabilisateurs de la crise de la dette grecque et peut-être même de l’effondrement de l’union monétaire de l’Europe. Pourtant cette fois-ci la situation n’est pas du tout la même.

Une différence fondamentale réside dans la structure fondamentale de l’économie. Ces deux dernières années, les autres pays en périphérie de la zone euro ont prouvé qu’ils pouvaient s’adapter, en réduisant leurs déficits budgétaires, en exportant plus et en faisant passer le compte courant en zone excédentaire, éliminant ainsi le besoin faire appel au financement. En fait, la Grèce est la seule économie à se traîner constamment les pieds dès qu’il s’agit de réformes et d’éternels piètres résultats d’exportation.

Le programme de la Banque centrale européenne de se lancer dans l’achat de titres souverains a pour but de donner plus de marge de manœuvre aux pays en périphérie. Même si les instances gouvernementales allemandes n’appuient pas officiellement les politiques d’assouplissement quantitatif, elles doivent quand même une fière chandelle à la BCE pour avoir apaisé les marchés financiers. Aujourd’hui, l’Allemagne se permet de résister aux dernières revendications du nouveau gouvernement grec pour une radiation majeure de la dette et une fin au régime d’austérité, car elle n’a pas à craindre le genre de turbulences des marchés financiers qui ont forcé les membres de la zone euro en 2012 à renflouer la Grèce.

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