Solving the Eurozone Crisis Together

Since the creation of the euro in 1999 and its replacement of independent currencies all across Europe, Gilles Theiffry has studied the potential effects and outcomes for a centralized currency. As early as 1998, when the euro was still under development, Gilles Theiffry published papers on the assumption that a country would eventually seek to leave the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) of the European Union.

These theories were based on sections of the original EMU treaty that outlined the regulations of the membership process. The treaty provided no possibility for a country to be removed or remove itself from the usage of the euro. Because of this limitation, countries currently seeking to leave the EMU and reinstitute their own currency would face isolation from the economy of Europe and potential disastrous reactions from foreign debt holders.

Gilles Theiffry’s solution to this problem is the creation of a dual currency system overseen not by any one country, but by the EMU as a whole. Such a currency would allow for the same financial recovery that reversion to old currencies could provide without the difficulty of cutting countries out of the EMU and forcing them to unilateral action.

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Overview of the Problems in the European Union Stability and Growth Pact, by Gilles Thieffry

The EU Stability and Growth Pact was an agreement among the 27 members of the EU in 1998 to coordinate national fiscal policies within the EMU (Economic Monetary Union). The pact requires each member of the EMU to submit a budget for review to ensure that no budget deficit of over 3 percent is foreseen.

posted at All Rights ReservedThe original pact states that governments that fail to comply with the stipulated regulations—to allow a high budget deficit and ignore the recommended corrective measures suggested by other members and the European Commission—will be subject to a series of fines. Already in 2003, France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, and Italy had already violated this pact—without being fined.

In the current Eurozone crisis, the many flaws in this pact have been dragged into the harsh light of day. It has proved impossible for the members of the EU to ensure that outside governments with sovereign control of their own budgets and finances observe fiscal discipline. Considering current events, the SGP’s failure has been subject to extensive criticism.

About the Author: Gilles Thieffry is a highly experienced international finance and business lawyer who has written extensively about the Euro and the EMU, predicting even from its inception the failure of the system. His many publications on the subject can be found on his website:

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Gilles Thieffry on How to Please Clients

Gilles Thieffry is the founding partner of GTLaw (created in 2007). Prior to GTLaw he served as partner for a firm in Geneva, Switzerland, and for two major London firms in London specializing in finance. Thieffry is a member of the New York Bar, the Paris Bar, the Law Society of England and Wales, and the Geneva Bar. He has been referred to by clients as “a consummate professional” and by colleagues as a fine lawyer with a great “approach to customer relations.”

Interviewer: What’s the best strategy to please clients?

Thieffry: It depends on the client, but generally speaking, communication is probably the most essential skill. Acting as counsel to a client, after all, is about solving problems, not creating new ones. If you’re unable to articulate your solution or unable to understand your client’s problems, then you’re very likely to upset the relationship.

Interviewer: What do you mean by “relationship”?

Thieffry: The connection between people in my profession and their clients is like any other relationship—it is based on trust, and in order to earn and maintain that trust, a client must be kept informed of progress. The lines of communication must be kept open, instead of intermittently open and then closed. When lines of communication are kept open on both sides, that is a genuine relationship between client and professional.

Interviewer: How do you keep those lines open?

Thieffry: Reassure your client that you are there for them. Checking in often by email or phone is important, especially because in the business world, a problem can change significantly from one week or even one day to the next. Also, and this may sound elementary, it is essential to cultivate a professional attitude, appearance, and manner. Clients will make snap judgments based on their first impression of those three criteria.

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