The lull in bad news from the eurozone during the holiday period offers a morality tale

The eurozone remains on a knife edge as politicians and economists struggle to find a solution to the most vexing financial dilemma of recent times. Yet despite the chaos and uncertainty engendered by the crisis, much of Europe chose not to eschew the traditional August vacation.

“Why would we? Family is more important than anything,” one business leader told me after I had enquired whether it might be better to spend the summer trying to prevent the eurozone from melting down.

Something strange happened during that holiday period. While everyone was away, a sense of calm descended and silenced the hysteria. There seems to be a lesson here - perhaps even a morality tale.

Unfortunately, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Burying your head in the sand - no matter the attractiveness of the beach - is certainly no option for Spain, which is the focus of our latest Risk Innovation supplement. Not surprisingly, the country’s perilous economic situation is the primary concern of most of its risk managers.

Businesses are coping with the problem through innovation - by seeking new markets beyond Spain’s borders. Such expansion brings with it a new set of issues, most notably with compliance, but few would disagree that any headache this brings is better than the alternative.

Other risks are emerging in Spain and other areas of Europe - this time for unwary visitors falling victim to criminal gangs and extortionists looking to make quick money. Several articles in this issue of StrategicRisk focus on the threat of kidnapping in its various guises. Risk Atlas on pages 24-25 highlights the global dangers, while Theory & Practice, pages 37-38, offers professional guidance to businesses and travellers on how to minimise risk while away from home.

Kidnap also features in our Special Report on executive travel, pages 33-36. Elsewhere in this issue we look at the Bribery Act one year on, pages 10-12, and also the increasingly complex and troublesome nature of data protection, pages 29-32.

Summer 2012 will also be remembered by many as the time the UK surprised the rest of the world and, most notably, itself by staging what is widely considered to be the most successful Olympics and Paralympics of all time. Our analysis, pages 21-23, looks at how this was achieved and some of the lessons we can learn.

Meanwhile, as days start to shorten across the northern hemisphere, the battle to stop the economic gloom closing in resumes in earnest.

Mike Jones, Editor, StrategicRISK