Londres fourbit ses armes (contre le nationalisme économique et Sarko)

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Le Financial Times, toujours lui, continue à remplir ses colonnes de diatribes anti-françaises et anti-Sarko. Cette fois, il s’agit d’une très longue interview du nouveau Chancelier de l’Echiquier (ministre du trésor), sur sa politique alors qu’il entre en fonction. Bien sûr, l’essentiel du propos concerne la situation britannique mais l’on termine sur les questions européennes. Cela permet à Alistair Darling de lancer quelques attaques sévères contre le “nationalisme économique”, chose absurde puisque quasiment du protectionnisme. Sur Sarkozy lui-même et sur la France, les mots sont plus mouchetés car une attaque trop directe présenterait quelques inconvénients. Pour le FT, il ne fait aucun doute que les déclarations du Chancelier sont en substance une attaque sévère contre la France.

«…I think Europe has got a huge choice to make, you know, if it doesn’t become more flexible, if its economy doesn’t liberalise, it’s going, big though it may be, sooner or later it is going to lose out, and, you know, you can’t just make direct comparisons with the United States which is an equally big economy. The United States is one economy, you know, Europe is not in that happy state. Maybe a single market but you don’t have to go too far to discover that some markets are more global than others and energy and values is a case in point where we all signed up to it in March and three months later you can see already that half of them are saying of course we must liberalise but not yet. So, I think there is an ideological battle there and I think Europe has got to, unless we make the reforms and, you know, some relation to labour market reforms, in relation to people’s ability to trade, to open the process up, then, you know, we’re going to get overtaken by these markets. It won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen next week, but it will happen.

»FT: So, Chancellor Darling definitely doesn’t belong to the band of economic patriots?

»Alistair Darling: I do not believe in economic patriotism. I think it’s nonsense. Economic patriotism is protectionism and there’s no other name for it. I just think it isn’t possible to designate a particular industry or product or whatever and say, you know, this is so central to our way of life that…

»FT: So you don’t intend to pursue a strategic yoghurt policy?

»Alistair Darling: No, I think yoghurt is not one of our key industries and I struggle to understand how it can be a key industry anywhere else, frankly. Nice though yoghurt is.

»FT: Just to round up, how much do you think that this is tactical positioning by the Sarkozy government and how much is it just this Colbertian streak that will be there in French policy?

»Alistair Darling: I, you know, we’re watching, you know, we will watch and see what the Sarkozy administration does, you know, we’ve seen what he’s had to say during his election campaign, you know, he’s only been in power for a few weeks but what worries me is, you know, there are two ways in which you can react to what’s going on in the world just now: one is to engage with it, which we are doing, recognising that, for our population as much as the population of France or Italy or whatever, people do have concerns and they want to know, okay, if this is happening to us and if this happening to the world, what are you doing to help us adapt. Or you can put the barriers up and, you know, whether it’s stopping Dubai Ports taking over docks in the United States, or saying that Vietnam can’t bring its shoes into Europe, or saying that I will stand behind my tub of yoghurt, I just don’t think that that is a long-term strategy. It might see you through the week, but it’s not a long-term strategy. And, you know, I don’t tend, I really don’t want to get into sort of an ideological stand-off there, because I think we do need to make reforms. Unemployment in most of Europe is far, far higher than it ought to be at this stage, and, unfortunately, if you want to say to people, look reform is good for you, it’ll always seem irrelevant if people are to work now, and then someone says, but if you let the Chinese goods come in here, there’ll be even more of it. People will become even more distressed. So I think it’s absolutely essential that Europe liberalises, and I think that the Portuguese presidency has actually convened a meeting to discuss the progress on Lisbon. But we shall see.»


Mis en ligne le 4 juillet 2007 à 19H01

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