Qui a perdu l’Europe ?

CAMBRIDGE – La débâcle financière a été évitée en Europe – pour l’instant. Mais l’avenir de l’Union Européenne et le destin de la zone euro sont encore incertains. Si l’Europe ne trouve pas rapidement un moyen de réactiver l’économie du continent, elle sera condamnée à des années de morosité, chacun se reprochant mutuellement le « sabotage du projet européen. » 

Ayant été confrontée en 2009 à un déclin économique plus profond qu’aux Etats-Unis, l’économie de l’Europe s’apprête à vivre une reprise encore plus lente – si l’on peut dire. Selon le Fond Monétaire International, la croissance de la zone euro devrait être d’à peine 1% cette année et de 1,5% en 2011, alors que les chiffres sont estimés respectivement à 3,1% et 2,6%  pour les Etats-Unis. Le taux de croissance au Japon, pourtant en déclin depuis les années 90, devrait même connaître une croissance plus rapide que celle de l’Europe.

La croissance européenne est entravée par des problèmes dus à la dette et aux inquiétudes persistantes sur la solvabilité de la Grèce et d’autres membres de l’UE gravement endettés. Alors que le secteur privé se désengage et tente de rééquilibrer ses bilans, on assiste à un effondrement de la consommation et de la demande en investissement, entrainant la production dans leurs chutes. Les responsables européens n’ont jusqu’ici apporté aucune solution à l’énigme de la croissance autre que celle de resserrer la ceinture.

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