Less pomp strikes the right chord

Greek President Karolos Papoulias made an excellent call when he decided to make changes to the annual celebrations for the restoration of democracy in Greece, on July 23. Papoulias has decided to do away with the usual evening gathering, complete with a substantial buffet, and replace it with an event that will be held early in the day and which will be attended by key public figures who will not be accompanied by their wives or husbands. The customary reception held at the Presidential Palace in central Athens has long since deviated from its origins and been turned into little more than an inane parade of socialites and VIPs from the political world. This kind of pomp and glamour have little place in such times, during a period when financial difficulties and uncertainty are plaguing the people of this country. Requesting that the usual gala be put aside and replaced by a low-key ceremony attended by a relatively small number of people was definitely the right way to go in order to avoid provoking public opinion.