On 1 September 1972, French Finance Minister, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, asks President of the European Commission, Franco Maria Malfatti, to convene urgently the Economic and Financial Policies Coordination Group in order to plan a common European policy to curb inflation.
In February 1973, the French cartoonist, Plantu, illustrates the decision taken by the US President, Richard Nixon, to devalue the dollar by 10 % and considers the possible consequences for Europe in terms of trade.
In March 1973, in Paris, the Finance Ministers and the Governors of the central banks of the Nine hold discussions with experts from the European Monetary Fund (EMF) and with their American, Japanese, Canadian, Swiss and Swedish counterparts, on possible ways to resolve the international monetary crisis. From left to right: Olivier Wormser, Governor of the Bank of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, French Finance Minister, and Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, President of the EMF.
On 9 March 1973, at the meeting in Paris between the Finance Ministers of the Nine and the representatives of the Group of Ten, the President of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC) emphasises the need to take concerted action in order to reorganise the international monetary system.
On 16 March 1973, the Finance Ministers and Governors of the Central Banks of the ten countries participating in the General Arrangements to Borrow and the Member States of the European Economic Community publish a joint communiqué concerning the measures to be adopted in order to resolve the international monetary crisis.
‘Come on then, jump!’ In 1973, despite the efforts of Helmut Schmidt, Karl Schiller’s successor as Finance Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), inflation continues to undermine the European economies.
On 21 January 1974, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments on France’s decision to withdraw from the European currency snake and considers the economic and monetary crisis currently affecting the countries of Western Europe.
On 30 January 1974, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments on France’s decision to withdraw from the European currency snake and expresses anxiety over the repercussions that such a decision may have on the implementation of European economic and monetary union.
On 31 January 1974, the European Commission solemnly calls upon the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the European Economic Community to foster stronger Community ties and to work together to combat the political and economic crisis affecting the ‘Europe of the Nine'.
In his memoirs, former French President, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, recalls the problems associated with the generalised floatation of the European currencies between 1974 and 1976, and analyses the withdrawal of the French franc from the European currency snake.
In April 1974, James Lanner, Director of Economic Affairs at the Secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), supports a system of floating exchange rates between the European currencies.
In May 1974, the monthly publication 30 jours d’Europe outlines the anti-inflationary measures proposed by the European Commission in order to tackle the inflationary spiral affecting several European countries.
In the light of the 1974 European monetary crisis, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing are depicted as two good Samaritans coming to the aid of a Europe in crisis.
‘The prognosis — “Gerald, as soon as you can feel firm ground, we’re saved …”’ On 19 July 1975, Ernst Maria Lang, German cartoonist, takes an ironic view of the implications of the global economic recession.
On 22 September 1976, the German cartoonist, Walter Hanel, takes an ironic look at the difficulties faced by the European monetary snake which is now able to rely only on the countries in the ‘mark’ area (the Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark and the three Benelux countries).
On 19 October 1976, in its coverage of the revaluation of the German mark, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung considers the future of the European monetary snake and calls for greater cooperation among the Nine on monetary matters.