OPINION

Editorial

The consequences of the incomprehensible terrorist attacks which struck the symbols of the USA’s economic and political might, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, will be primarily political. It would, however, be a grave error to underestimate the economic perils inherent in the dramatic developments – especially as they took place within an already unfavorable economic climate. It is common knowledge that the economies of the USA, Japan and Europe, as well as those of East Asia and Latin America were on the verge of recession. It is obvious, of course, that the terrorist strikes might hasten the onset of the nascent economic recession. The unprecedented events have worsened the international economic climate, making prospects for an upswing seem even more distant. Insurance companies worldwide are expected to suffer a huge crisis as they will be called upon to pay billions of dollars in compensation to the thousands of victims and for the enormous material damage caused by the terrorist attacks. Furthermore, it is hard to estimate the cost to the world economy arising from the possible introduction of additional draconian security measures on airlines. Even stock markets, though the temporary and vital support they may get for political reasons may yield some superficial indications of an upswing, will certainly go through a prolonged period of insecurity and tension – whether visible or hidden – which has already engulfed the entire globe since Tuesday. The Greek government has to be on the alert. In the context of the current global economy, there are no isolated, impregnable castles. No national economy can remain unaffected in a climate of international recession or survive global political disorder unscathed. The precipitous fall of the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, even though clearly a temporary emotional reaction, should be taken as a painless warning sign so that the government can avoid experiencing an extremely rude awakening in the future.