Struggling with money has proven to be an unbearable burden for a Greek pensioner - who has shot himself dead in a square in central Athens. It's just one of a string of suicides across the EU, caused by financial desperation and the continuing, harsh austerity measures. RT's Tesa Arcilla reports from Brussels.
The 77-year-old Greek man committed suicide in central Athens by the nation’s parliament, shooting himself with a handgun in apparent financial desperation.
Eyewitness reports say that the man shouted “So I won’t leave debts for my children” before turning the gun on himself. Others claimed he said nothing.
The incident occurred around 9 am (local time), just outside a metro station, when the square was filled with people and commuters. The man took his life behind a big tree, which concealed him from most eyes. Greek media identify the man as Dimitris Christoulas. This is yet to be confirmed by the police. The pensioner appears to have been a retired pharmacist who owned a drugstore in Athens, which he sold in 1994, Costas Lourantos, the head of the Attica Pharmacist’s Association told Skai radio.
A suicide note has been been found on the old man, saying “The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival. And since I cannot find justice, I cannot find another means to react besides putting a decent end [to my life], before I start searching the garbage for food and become a burden for my child."
Georgios Tsolakoglou headed the Greek collaborationist government during the German occupation of Greece in the Second World War.
The note has been widely regarded as drawing a parallel between Lucas Papademos’ current collaborationist government and Tsolakoglou’s regime because of the economic crisis in the country. In his note, the deceased forecasts the Greek government a fate similar to Benito Mussolini’s if they continue robbing young people of their future. The Italian dictator’s body hung in Milan for public view several days after his execution in April 1945.
“Young people without a future will one day take up arms and hang the traitors upside down in Syntagma Square, as the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945,” the message reportedly reads.
“Syntgama” is a Greek word for “constitution”. Syntagma Square, where the elderly man committed suicide, lies in front of the Greek Parliament.
In the evening, hundreds of protesters made their way across the street from the square to outside Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, chanting: "This was not a suicide, it was a state-perpetrated murder" and "Blood flows and seeks revenge.”