Crise européenne, le sacrifice sans la récompense

VITORIA-GASTEIZ – Dans une interview récente, le président français François Hollande a souligné l’idée essentielle, pourtant souvent occultée, selon laquelle il y aurait des limites au degré de sacrifice qui peut être demandé aux citoyens des pays du sud de l’Europe en difficulté financière. Afin d’éviter de changer la Grèce, le Portugal et l’Espagne en véritables « maisons de correction » collectives,  a-t-il fait valoir, les peuples ont besoin d’espoir, au-delà des perpétuels horizons lointains de réduction des dépenses et de mesures d’austérité.

Les notions de psychologie les plus élémentaires appuient le point de vue de Hollande. Renforcement négatif et report répété des retours positifs ne peuvent aboutir à un objectif qu’à condition de la perception d’une lueur au bout du tunnel – la récompense future des sacrifices d’aujourd’hui.

Le pessimisme public régnant en Europe du Sud est en grande partie attribuable à l’absence d’une telle récompense. Tandis que la confiance déclinante des consommateurs et le pouvoir d’achat des ménages aggravent la récession, les prévisions de fin de crise sont sans cesse repoussées, et les peuples soumis au fardeau de l’austérité en arrivent à perdre espoir.

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