Violent protests erupt in Athens over debt suicide
Violent protests broke out in Athens last night after an elderly man committed suicide near to the country’s Parliament building, claiming he was distraught at the prospect of “looking in the garbage to feed myself”.
By Matthew Sparkes
05 Apr 2012
The pensioner, named locally as Dimitris Christoulas, shot himself with a handgun a few hundred yards from the Greek parliament, which has been the focus of numerous violent protests against tough austerity measures in recent months. Witnesses report he claimed to be concerned about leaving his children in debt before he took his own life.
Pensions in Greece have been slashed by up to a quarter as part of harsh austerity measures designed to bring down the country’s deficit and qualify it for bailout packages from the EU and IMF.
In a suicide note left at the scene the man said the Government had “nullified any chance of my survival which was based on a decent salary that for 35 years I alone (without state support) paid for”.
“Because I am of an age that does not allow me to forcefully react (without of course excluding that if some Greek took a Kalashnikov first, I would be the second) I see no other solution than a decent ending before I start looking in the garbage to feed myself,” it continued.
“I believe that youth who have no future will one day take up arms and hang the national traitors upside-down in Syntagma square just as the Italians did in 1945 to Mussolini.”