La fin de la souveraineté budgétaire en Europe

MILAN – Milton Friedman estimait qu’une monnaie commune – c’est à dire une union monétaire – ne peut fonctionner sans une profonde forme d’union économique et politique, soit une économie ouverte qui garantit la libre circulation des biens, du travail et des capitaux, avec une autorité fiscale centrale disciplinée et une banque centrale forte. Ces deux derniers sont les piliers d’une monnaie forte. Ils fonctionnent en tandem. Mais les autres éléments n’en sont pas moins aussi importants.

La zone euro, qui se débat aujourd’hui entre déséquilibre budgétaire et risque de dette souveraine, a une banque centrale forte et autonome, mais est physiquement fragmentée et n’est politiquement qu’en partie unifiée.

Puis vint le Traité de Maastricht, qui impose théoriquement une discipline budgétaire en limitant les déficits publics et les niveaux de dette – à l’évidence une structure conçue pour empêcher que la discipline budgétaire des autres soit parasitée. Maastricht a donc été conçu pour empêcher une situation comme celle que la Grèce traverse aujourd’hui.

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