The global economic crisis has entered a most critical and dangerous phase. All signs, most recently the rejection yesterday by US lawmakers of a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry, indicate that the world’s markets should brace for a lengthy period of uncertainty. There are signs that European economies will not escape unscathed. To be sure, it is still too early to draw any final conclusions about the deeper causes of the ongoing crisis or the right remedial action. But if there’s one thing that is certain about the economic meltdown, it is that panic is the worst response. In Athens, the Wall Street crisis has prompted a flurry of groundless rumors and speculation that are prompted by profiteering or criminal negligence. There is no doubt that the Continent, as well as the Greek economy, will also be affected by the plunge. The situation warrants deft handling by the government team. We must all avoid showing signs of panic that will only worsen the current crisis.