Le nouveau problème allemand

Alors que l'Allemagne se prépare à élire son prochain chancelier, les deux principaux candidats, Gerhard Schroeder et Edmund Stoiber, s'accordent sur un point : il faut réduire le chômage. Ces vingt dernières années, le taux de chômage élevé a transformé l'Europe en général et l'Allemagne en particulier en une bombe à retardement sociologique. Que ferons les chômeurs (et particulièrement les chômeurs de longue durée qui n'ont qu'un vague souvenir de l'intégration dans le monde du travail) de leur personne et de leur temps ? Qu'adviendra-t-il de la confiance dans les gouvernements qui ne peuvent résoudre ce problème ?

Il est facile d'oublier qu'il y a cinquante ans à peine l'Europe représentait le continent le plus violent. Les Européens avaient passé les quarante années précédentes à se massacrer les uns les autres sur une échelle jamais égalée dans l'histoire de l'humanité. Sur cette toile de fond, l'Europe de l'ouest de l'après-1950 fut remarquablement pacifique et stable, même si l'on prend en compte la chute de la IVè République en France et les transitions démocratiques du Portugal, de l'Espagne et de la Grèce.

La transformation la plus remarquable de toutes est celle de la République fédérale d'Allemagne. Quiconque connaît l'histoire de l'Allemagne depuis 1800 reste surpris de l'enthousiasme avec lequel cette nation, qui s'est relevée de son écrasement complet en 1945, a adopté ce que de nombreuses générations passées auraient appelé des modèles économiques et politiques franco-anglais inappropriés. Sans la paix et la stabilité que cela apporta à l'Allemagne, la plus grande communauté linguistique à l'ouest de la Russie, il est difficile d'imaginer la paix et la stabilité actuelle de l'Europe comme un tout.

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