ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Iceland's Warning

The fragility and incompetence of our economic systems have been exposed by the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which has been active for over three weeks now, has disrupted travel and trade over much of Europe and the rest of the world ever since it started spewing its column of smoke and dust on 14 April. One of the immediate and most severe consequences has been that millions of passengers were stranded at airports as about 70,000 flights were cancelled over a week due to the danger of dust-laden clouds damaging plane engines.

It is obvious that public as well as policy attention would be directed, most immediately, towards the plight of the stranded travellers and to the short-term impact on the global economy. Unfortunately as the immediacy of the problem began to pass by the end of the past week, it is almost as if the larger problem too has taken wings and flown away with the first planes to take off from European airports. But from hotel rates in Bangkok to football matches in Europe the ash from the volcano seems to have had a global effect. Given the integration of the global economy, there have been ripples across the world and many of these will continue to be felt for some time to come. Therefore, we need to view the impact of this volcanic eruption beyond just Europe.

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