There seemed to be fewer Greek flags waving off the country’s balconies this year on «Ochi» (No) Day. No one can really leap into a celebration simply as a matter of course and few were apparently moved by the tired speeches about duty delivered by people who should have been addressing themselves rather than the citizenry. The occasion, overshadowed by so many bad omens for our moral, spiritual, political and economic life, does not favor festivities nor the lighter mood that the, also tired, television news broadcasts like to advertise. Directions to «applaud now» from priests to their flocks, such as those given by Metropolitan Anthimos in Thessaloniki, seem to be falling on deaf ears. Applauding on command is unthinkable, at least in a democracy, even if this democracy is eating away at itself and not resisting external factors as staunchly as it should. Celebrating the glorious past makes sense only when we can be proud of the present, of the values and ideals that guide us. The «values» that currently rule in the minds of those who are supposed to be planning for the country’s future, as well as those (supposedly) responsible for our spiritual guidance, are money, scandal and lust for power. We had good reason to suspect this long before all these scandals, this lengthy chain that has wrapped itself around the necks of so many of the «anonymous,» because in that lofty place where the «eponymous» reside, it appears that there are other rules governing ethical conduct. Up there, it is all relative and you’ll never hear a «no» uttered against the many temptations. Or, rather, you’ll never hear a «no» that leads to an honorable outcome, because there are plenty of the other kind: no to responsibility, no to long-term memory, no to the concerns of the people, no to respecting the institutions of democracy.