Friday Nov 23, 201201:49 PM GMT
Recession drives up suicide rate in Greece
People read messages left by passers-by near the place where an elderly man shot himself dead in the central Syntagma Square on April 4, 2012.
People read messages left by passers-by near the place where an elderly man shot himself dead in the central Syntagma Square on April 4, 2012.
Official figures show that the number of people committing suicide is increasing year by year in Greece as the country continues to grapple with deep recession.


According to a new report, which was presented to the parliament on Friday by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, Greece witnessed 677 cases of suicide attempt in 2009, 830 in 2010 and 927 in 2011.

The report further predicted that the number of suicides will continue to surge this year. As of August 23, some 690 suicide attempts were registered by police officials across the crisis-hit country.

The report comes as Greeks are forced to endure a sixth consecutive year of recession with the debt crisis deepening, cuts taking their toll and unemployment surging.

Greeks planning to kill themselves have in recent years tended to pick locations situated around or even inside banks and tax offices. The trend leans toward the elderly who have given up on their financial struggles as they start to feel the bite of pension cuts and tax rises.

In April, an elderly Greek pharmacist committed suicide when he shot himself with a hunting rifle in Athens’ central Syntagma Square outside the parliament. He wrote his reasons on a note, stating his pensions had been wiped out.

One in every four Greek workers is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent. Greek youths have also been badly affected, more than half of whom are presently unemployed.

MAM/HMV
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