“Greek-US friendship is alive and well!» was the comment from among the crowd that had gathered in temperatures of 40C to celebrate US Independence Day in the garden of the US Embassy residence with Ambassador Thomas Miller and his wife Bonny. Some of the guests jostled for a place in the shade but there were many who braved the heat for the national anthem, sung by Yvette Jarvis, the first American municipal councilor (of Athens), observed the ambassador as he thanked her with a kiss. It was not only the July heat that kept members of the government away but the announcement of the government’s so-called reshuffle that left the ministers in their seats, apart from Michalis Chrysochoidis, who has taken over as party general secretary. The Public Order Ministry went to Giorgos Floridis. Education and Religious Affairs Minister Petros Efthymiou received congratulations on retaining his post and paid his respects to Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece. Security measures were as strict as ever, but the guards checking bags and cameras were polite and smiling. Red, white and blue balloons were in abundance, the colors repeated on the ambassador’s tie, while Bonny chose the Greek colors, blue and white. With them were the new commercial attaché, press attaché Todd Pierce, and Nikos Karamolengos of USIS. From the New Democracy party were parliamentary representative Prokopis Pavlopoulos, representing party leader Costas Karamanlis who is abroad, and Dimitris Sioufas, secretary of the parliamentary group.