The 2010s: a world in Chaos?

The "2010s" will end together with 2019. European media take the opportunity to look back on a decade marked by crises and upheaval. Commentators take stock of how the world has faced up to these challenges.

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Le Monde (FR) /

Permanent state of emergency

We have grown too used to the reality of attacks, natural disasters and people drowning at sea, writes Italian author Ginevra Bompiani in Le Monde:

“Today a state of emergency is our natural state. That holds for politics and law, which are dominated by a constant sense of urgency. But - decisively - it also holds fundamentally for what we could call a 'mental state of emergency' which overwhelms us. ... In recent times, however, two movements have sprung up which counter this trend: the young people of Fridays For Future, and very recently the second [in Italy], which is made up not only, but mostly of young people who call themselves 'Sardines' and who are fighting for a tranquil, serene, welcoming, civilised life.”

Mérce (HU) /

Populists don't do things better

For Mérce, the rise of populism was the most dominant trend of the last decade:

“From a global point of view the 2010s was the decade of right-wing hegemonies. After the economic crisis was overcome we entered the era of what we call populist politics. ... Typically its representatives are corrupt and irresponsible and wealthy politicians who speak in the name of the people. ... In this decade the world has become more unequal, more chaotic and more hopeless, and our societies are more fragmented than ever. And while these right-wing populists do an excellent job of distracting us, they have no intention of solving the real problems.”

Naftemporiki (GR) /

A Greek tragedy

A decade of hardship is coming to an end for Greece, Naftemporiki concludes:

“In the space of a decade we experienced the collapse of a false sense of well-being, a series of political earthquakes, a severe financial crisis and a deep recession. ... We saw how society became inflamed with anger, how it fell apart, how its dreams and illusions vanished. We saw how society drank the poison of division, but also how it hoped and struggled to mend its torn fabric. Greece was the only country to implement three painful austerity memoranda, and to lose more than 25 percent of its GDP.”

Luzerner Zeitung (CH) /

There is cause for optimism

The past decade wasn't all that bad, the Luzerner Zeitung comments:

“True, it wasn't a decade of fundamental change, but was it a good one nonetheless? It could have been worse. Even if the negative headlines remain in the forefront: when all is said and done there were no major wars, global poverty decreased, expected life expectancy increased, medical breakthroughs were made in various areas and unemployment is down in many countries. A more committed, less indifferent generation than the one that preceded it is coming of age. All of that bodes well for the decade to come.”