About 15,000 people gathered in central Athens on Sunday to protest austerity measures and to support the new Greek government, led by and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza Party, which is challenging these draconian economic policies. But this issue isn’t just about policy and politics. It’s about life and death, according to a new study which links austerity to suicide.
The suicide of a 77-year old pensioner in front of the Greek parliament garnered much outrage and media attention in 2012. The man cried out, “So, I won’t leave debts for my children,” before shooting himself in the head. In his suicide note, he criticized the government of the time, which had “annihilated any hope for my survival and I could not get any justice. I cannot find any other form of struggle except a dignified end before I have to start scrounging for food from the trash.”