February 19, 1958

TWENTY-YEAR BAN ON MASKS LIFTED: (From a commentary by Eleni Vlachou): «For the first time in 20 long years, the police will be allowing Carnival revelers to wear masks. People can dress up and wander the country’s streets as Pierrot, a cowboy, a robot, a Mexican, or anything else they like. Permission has been granted by the authorities. The restrictions are over, the bans have been lifted and the laws abolished. Carnival has now been freed, but it seems people don’t know what to do with the freedom. Among the crowds and the traffic of Athens that our nervous police officers don’t seem to know how to handle, the spirit and fun of Carnival is no where to be seen. At night it disappears into basements, smiles in some taverns and fleetingly glides through dance halls but that is all. Is it due to the the various crises, domestic problems large and small, the Sputniks and Explorers, the missiles, taxes, unemployment and the high cost of living? Not at all! We might believe that had we not lived through a harsh occupation when death and destruction hung over everyone. Those of us who lived through that time did not lose our optimism within our freezing, darkened homes, holding all-night impromptu parties that not even today’s brightest orchestras or bottles of whisky can conjure up.»