Sauver le véritable patron de l’Europe

MUNICH – En juin dernier, la Commission européenne a annoncé sa volte-face à propos des restructurations bancaires. L’argent nécessaire à la recapitalisation des banques en difficulté viendrait désormais principalement des créanciers, et non des contribuables européens, et un ordre hiérarchique préciserait quels prêteurs doivent être remboursés en premier. Tout cela est le bienvenu, au moins en principe. Dans la pratique, cependant, le régime laisse beaucoup à désirer.

Le problème est qu’une très longue liste d'exceptions réduit les actifs recouvrables à tel point que, dans de nombreux cas, il restera impossible de se débrouiller sans argent public. Le plan à long terme est que cet argent devrait provenir d'un fonds créé par les banques européennes elles-mêmes. Mais l'Eurogroupe (la réunion des ministres des Finances de la zone euro, en présence du commissaire aux affaires économiques et monétaires de l'Union européenne ainsi que le président de la Banque centrale européenne) suggère que, tant que ce fonds n’existe pas, ce soit le Mécanisme européen de stabilité (MES) – et donc les contribuables – qui serve d’appoint.

Étant donné que les contribuables sont ainsi censés financer les garanties sur les dépôts jusqu'à 100.000 € (133.000 $) – le niveau de richesse médian des ménages néerlandais et deux fois celui allemand – la  proposition de l'Eurogroupe équivaut à une redistribution massive de la richesse en Europe, dont les dimensions ne sont pas comprises par le public.

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