Les conséquences d’Angela Merkel

LONDRES – L’Allemagne a pris la tête de l’opposition de l’Union Européenne à une quelconque dépréciation de la dette souveraine de tout pays de la zone euro pris dans la tourmente. Elle préféré accepter le principe des mécanismes de renflouement tel que le Mécanisme européen de stabilisation financière, qui permet de prêter jusqu’à 500 milliards d’euros (680 milliards de dollars) associé à un apport de 250 milliards de d’euros du Fonds Monétaire International.

Ce sont essentiellement des mécanismes de refinancement. Les membres lourdement endettés de la zone euro peuvent souscrire à l’emprunt à des taux inférieurs aux taux commerciaux, à condition qu’ils s’engagent à une austérité budgétaire toujours plus drastique. Le principal et l’intérêt sur la dette échue restent inchangés. Donc, les créanciers – principalement les banques allemandes et françaises – ne devraient pas souffrir de pertes sur leurs prêts existants, tandis que les emprunteurs gagnent plus de temps pour remettre leur maison en ordre. Du moins, en théorie.

Jusqu’à présent, trois pays – la Grèce, l’Irlande et le Portugal – ont profité de cette facilité. La dette souveraine de la Grèce se montait à 350 milliards d’euros (160% du PIB) mi-juillet 2011. Le gouvernement grec doit actuellement payer 25% pour ses obligations sur 10 ans, qui s’échangent avec une remise de 50% sur le marché secondaire.

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