A 77 year old pensioner shot himself outside the Greek parliament buildings yesterday. A suicide note he left criticized the austerity measures implemented by the government including reducing his pension to nothing the note claimed.
Protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails outside the parliament buildings. In return police fired tear gas and flash grenades.
The suicide note by the 77 year old read in part:"" "The government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state..."And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting... I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don't find myself fishing through rubbish bins for my sustenance."
Evangelos Venizelos, a former finance minister and now head of the socialist Pasok party that holds a majority in the coalition government, called on politicians to refrain from "political commentary" Venizelos said they should show solidarity and togetherness. Imagine he is calling on all Greek politicians even socialists to show solidarity not with the complaints of the senior about his plight but with financial capital that is imposing these austerity measures so that Greece can obtain bailout loans! Do not make political statements. Of course by his remarks Venizelos himself is making a very significant political statement.
By last night there were dozens of messages written under the tree where the senior killed himself. One message was "It was a murder, not a suicide", and another "Austerity kills".
The protesters today had similar messages chanting "This was not a suicide, it was a state-perpetrated murder" and "Blood flows and seeks revenge". According to Reuters suicides have increased 18 per cent in Greece since the austerity measures. Just in the city of Athens alone suicides increased more than 25 per cent last year.Unemployment is now running at 21 per cent. For more see this article.