The modern European profile that Greece’s political leaders have taken pains to build – based on their ostensible success with big issues whose importance is incomprehensible to the average citizen – has once again been shot down. The tragic traffic accident that occurred at the Vale of Tempe on Sunday night typified the backwardness of this country and the incapability of our well-paid political elite to live up to their obligations, let alone make sure that the law is implemented. Moved, the government officials stood silent in front of the coffins carrying the bodies of the teenagers who met their death on the national highway. The silence of official cadres was warranted, as they have done nothing to date to prevent what happened. Silence was preferable to the usual remarks about shedding ample light on the issue and meting out justice to those responsible. In the supposedly powerful and self-confident Greece of the eurozone, in the country with the «ample international prestige» and the «strong say» on international affairs, in the country where the political elite boasts because the country is doing better than in the 1950s and 1960s, every tragedy, like the one at Tempe in which 21 teenagers were killed, marks a crude awakening into the devastating reality of a backward country. There are many people to blame for Greece’s shortcomings; there are many criminal responsibilities which led to the disaster. In a run-down national system, many people find it easy to scorn the law. However, the overall quality of the country inevitably depends on the quality of the government’s work. Faced with a poor executive authority, the ordinary worker sees no reason to do his job properly. And thus the truckdriver who uses a neglected, dilapidated road network. Who is really responsible for the Tempe tragedy? I think we all know the answer.