OPINION

Decade of uncertainty

In the wake of the bomb attacks in Istanbul – a deadly reminder of the September 11 terrorist blitz, particularly for European nations – the future looks more unpredictable than ever. The current decade will be a decade of uncertainty, with all the political, economic and social implications. And the consequences of the insecurity caused by such terrorist attacks are manifold and far-reaching. First of all, anti-terror discourse and policies will cause major distortions, making people more circumspect and more conservative in all they do, whether this be investment, consumption or tourism. US security demands will intensify. Washington will pressure its allies for closer cooperation on counterterrorism operations and, probably, for larger contributions to military missions – all these in the name of the war on terrorism. The need for closer coordination between the Western European states and America will test existing ties, individuals, policies and alliances. Such global uncertainty is also bound to place strain on the economy. An economic upswing cannot be taken for granted. There are major risks involved in any opportunities that may present themselves – with all that this entails for investment and long-term planning. Regarding the Olympic Games, the risk, in human terms and to investment, is now apparent and it underscores that we have entered a new phase. Society is also not free from risk. Tightened security measures will have an impact on the social sphere, undermining citizen mobility and putting pressure on civil rights and liberties – which are inextricably linked to the living standards that we currently enjoy. In other words, much will be challenged or revised during the current decade. Both the public and its political representatives must be on the alert in order to meet the challenges of the new era.