OPINION

Commentary

The crisis afflicting the global as well as the national economy did not fall from the sky. The combination of pressure on economies worldwide, the terrorist assault and the US-led military response underlines that history remains a highly complex affair and that we should never jump to definite and irreversible conclusions. However, as with all previous crises, the present one brings some opportunities in its wake. If we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fear and the anxiety that terrorism, as well as the struggle to contain it, inevitably cause, we shall merely lose time waiting for others to show us a path that we ourselves already know. Already, the majority of countries, governments, businesses and citizens have begun to reorganize their life on the basis of the new circumstances. The ability of the current social structures to react and readjust to the ever-changing environment will give rise to a new global equilibrium. The principle of adaptability can be directly applied to our economy. For markets and world trade are solid tools in the search for solutions. It is worth pointing out some recent events. France’s socialist government agreed to reduce the state’s share in national carmaker Renault SA and to extend the latter’s partnership with Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. into a cross-shareholding agreement. LIFFE, the British derivatives market, is not being sold to the London stock market but instead to Euronext, a holding company created by the merger of the Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam exchanges,. The journalists of the leftist Le Monde daily approved its entry into the stock market, while private television channel TF1 and the conservative capitalist publishing company Hachette are already shareholders in its communist cousin, L’Humanité. At the same time, Libération is cutting down on its staff. All these moves reveal an endless economic momentum and confirm the appropriateness of domestic moves such as the sale of the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETBA) to the private Piraeus Bank. The present economic turmoil has opportunities for those who avoid wringing their hands and dare take bold decisions.