On The Ground In Athens: "Too Many People Are Committing Suicide"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

My friend Illias took a drag of his cigarette as he contemplated my question.

“Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them. But all we can do is be optimistic. Too many people are committing suicide.”

His statement probably best sums up the situation in Greece right now. It’s as if the hopelessness has gone stale, and the only thing they have to replace it with is desperate, misguided, faux-optimism. And anger.

There are roughly 11 million people in this country. 3.4 million of them are employed, of which roughly one third work for the government.

1.34 million people are ‘officially’ unemployed. To put this in context, it would be as if there were 36 million officially unemployed in the US.

More startling, if you add the number of ‘inactive’ workers (i.e. those who gave up looking), the total number of unemployed is roughly 57% of the entire Greek work force.

And as you probably know, the situation for young people is even worse. Only 1 in 3 people aged 25 and under has a job.

This phenomenon, sustained for several years now, has cut deeply into the psyche of an entire generation that is growing up without productive work experience or the prospect of improving their lives.

The middle class here has been completely gutted. Aside from a few pockets of wealth, the country is either unemployed or working poor, hamstrung by debilitating debt.

The ugly consequence of all of this is that people have been driven to desperation. The suicide rate here has skyrocketed, crime is noticeably higher, and prostitution is rampant.

The government is limping along based solely on handouts from the rest of Europe, adding to the country’s already untenable debt burden. Given the rate at which they keep increasing the debt, they’ll still be paying it off ten generations from now.

They’ve taken some baby steps to attract foreign investment– most notably by offering residency to foreigners who purchase Greek real estate in excess of 250,000 euros.

(Side note: Be cautious. When valued against both rental prices and income, Greek real estate is still overpriced. The housing markets in Portugal and Ireland have far more compelling fundamentals, and both have similar residency programs.)

But such initiatives won’t move the needle much. And the Greek government has no real options other than to continue defaulting on its debts or to leave the eurozone and inflate its own currency.

Given what I’m seeing on the ground here, it’s clear that the situation is more explosive than it has been for years.

And it comes at a time when fears of a ‘Grexit’ have subsided. (Do you notice how few people ever talk about this anymore?)

This strategy of living hand to mouth until the next bailout comes has failed. They’ve tried it for three years. Yet the labor market continues to deteriorate, and the debts continue to pile up.

As a result, life for the average Greek has gone from bad to worse.

People are angry. Not the ‘I’m going to vote you out of office’ anger from 2010-2012. I’m talking ‘I’m gonna go postal ‘cuz I have nothing to lose’ anger.

Imagine millions of people that angry, and you can understand that this country is close to reaching the activation energy necessary to make a revolutionary change.

In fact, from the terrace of my hotel I can see yet another protest beginning to form on the streets below. I’m going to sign off for now and go check it out.

Take a look for yourself here:

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Ahmeexnal's picture

Sheeple are Sheeple.

fonestar's picture

And so the people will follow suit here when the depressions spreads from the satellites to the center of empire.  Even though most of these "poor" people, having lost their creature comforts they financed (not to be confused with ownership) are still better off than your average Somali.

At least they could go and take out a parasite banker first if they want to go that route.

The Juggernaut's picture

The Greek People are killing the wrong people.

SamAdams's picture

If you plan to die anyway, why not take a few problems with you?

How do you determine how many is too many suicides? 

Larry Dallas's picture

Greeks have too much national pride anyway. Ever see My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Hmpf...

cifo's picture

"and prostitution is rampant"

Who's paying? Tourists?

johnconnor's picture

the troika officials that keep visiting Greek to check on its progress

nodhannum's picture

Wait, this is Greece.  First, don't you have to dip them in "Nair" and then hose 'em down.

Luckhasit's picture

No, the guy that's robbing you to eat

BellyBrain's picture

"At least they could go and take out a parasite banker first if they want to go that route."


EXACTLY!!!  If every suicidal person in the world took out a banker, politician, GMO corporate executive, and any other scumbag piece of filth on their way out, the world would be a much better place.  We would remember them as heroes.

reTARD's picture

Sheeple gonna sleeple.

They're heading to protest on motorcycles... still not at breaking point yet.

azzhatter's picture

They should just appoint a poverty czar, suicide czar, and unemployment czar. Forward

GaryNeville's picture

Boy who cries wolf..

Were gone rise up one day.. eventually... someday.. it'll happen... bla bla bla..

What more do you need people of Greece? No time like the present!

Bag Of Meat's picture

Then what more does THE WORLD want? No time like the present for everyone! Yet nothing ever happens. Or when something happens it gets manipulated to once again serve the status quo. You know why? because human incentives are universal and easy to manipulate. That's what "sheeple" really means

Meat Hammer's picture

WTF???  Kill them and take back what they stole.

It's either him or me, and you better believe it ain't gonna be me.  Jules - Pulp Fiction

JR's picture

Substitute “government” for “that man” in the following Louis L'Amour quote and we’ve got a working formula for current conditions.

“If you want to be civilized, you’re going to have to fight to protect it, or all the civilized world will be dead, and we will be back in the darkness of savagery.

“You don’t try to reason with a man who is trying to kill you, or else you will be dead, and violence will have won another victory over peace.

“That man that shot your brother did it because he saw your brother as a threat to him, and when he tries to kill you, it will be for the same reason.

“Are you going to let him do it?” – The Cherokee Trail

L’Amour continues:

“If civilization was to endure, those who believe in it must be prepared to strike back at the dark forces that would destroy it…we have to live to ensure our children the education and the chance they should have. For that, we should be willing to fight.”

Great journalistic piece by Black, btw.

What you talkin about Willis's picture

I'm thinking Weird Al Yankovich doing a remake of depches modes people are people into sheelpe are sheeple would be pretty fucking sweet.



Praetorian Guard's picture

Sheeple are sheeple so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

So we're different colours
And we're different creeds
And different people have different needs
It's obvious you hate me
Though I've done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

Sheeple are sheeple so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

Help me understand

Now you're punching and you're kicking
And you're shouting at me
I'm relying on your common decency
So far it hasn't surfaced
But I'm sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man

Help me understand

francis_sawyer's picture

"In fact, from the terrace of my hotel I can see yet another protest beginning to form on the streets below"


Why don't you go down there and give somebody your Rochefocauld so they can buy a sandwich?

Temporalist's picture

Well suicide is already illegal...whoever thought of that one is a genius.  (you changed your post as I was typing you sneaky shit)

Flakmeister's picture

Not possible, initiating a reply to a post disables modifications...

Meat Hammer's picture

When you were a kid, what would you say was the average amount of time that you were able to hold on to your lunch money before somebody kicked your ass and took it?

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

initiating a reply to a post disables modifications...

Don't you mean posting a reply disables modifications?

Harbanger's picture

You're right.  It's only disabled AFTER you post the reply.  And the votes are disabled for everyone but you when you use italics.

fuu's picture

If desired you can activate the arrow links in page source.

Forty Six and 2's picture

Or you can vote via...


  1. mouse_click on the time/date stamp
  2. [tab] until a ' appears next to arrow of your choosing
  3. [enter]
Flakmeister's picture

Maybe Tyler could chime in about the hierarchy of actions allowed by Drupal... Just relating my past experience...

francis_sawyer's picture

Like... WTF really cares?... I mean ~ like, isn't there a "global warming" blog somewhere out there that needs your expertise & TLC so they can name you "CZAR ZOD" of global warming scientific research, who, will someday, PREVENT our sun from bursting into a Red Giant & vaporizing everything from the asteroid belt on in?"...

That might be a better use of your valuable time...

fuu's picture

Edits to a comment can occur till someone posts a reply to the comment.

Flakmeister's picture

The issue is whether hitting the reply key locks the post being replied to, i.e. before it is posted...

Hey, whatever, it is all but a moot point...

fuu's picture

No. When I just hit the reply key in your comment I did not lock you from editing. When I clicked save on my side you were locked out.

There are times when you will be editing a post, someone else hits reply, types a message, and hits save before you are done editing. Then when you hit save on your edit you get the error message.

Maybe a trivial point, not a moot one though.

Shizzmoney's picture


“Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them."

Same shit, different Parliament.

CheapBastard's picture

It's kinda strange to think ... our Western Societies are based on Greek Civilization...well, mmm... at least the former Greek Civilization.


I get a dismal feeling when I read about The Athenian plight these days. It does not bode well.

Jumbotron's picture

Too many people in Greece committing suicide....and not enough people in the halls of political and financial power doing it here in 'Merka.

Nussi34's picture

The fewer Greeks the fewer monry wasted!

Muppet Pimp's picture

This statement tells us the greeks still have a long way to go. The one who said this remains under the impression that those lying theiving vermin that run their government are going to also be the same ones who create economic prosperity in which they can all share the fruits of. Wake me up when the guillotines are moved into Syntagma and the people are scouring the country rounding up the politicians. From what we have seen so far, the Greek government is going to continue lying, bellyaching and stealing everything not nailed down until the bailout money stops rolling in.

pashley1411's picture

I can understand despair, but chit, don't go out without making a little noise, if you catch my drift.   Sheeple get what they deserve.

PT's picture

pashley1411:  I believe the phrase you are looking for is, "You can always take one with you."

Thanks Winston Churchill. 

Harbanger's picture

I lost a good friend to suicide a few months ago.  I knew him for many years and know how he thinks.  When he was thinking straight he would say the same thing.  don't go out without a fight.  Over the last few years he had some personal tradegies, he lost all his money with overlevaged RE, then divorced.  Then he became a heavy drinker.  People in deep despair, aren't thinking logically. 

PT's picture

Sorry to hear that Harbanger.

It's not just about thinking logically, either.  Actions are a lot harder than words.  Especially when you're flat broke, heavily in debt, and those responsible for your plight are ones whose names you don't know and / or they live thousands of miles away.

Something else to think about:  Our modern technology allows faceless people to steal our wealth from thousands of miles away.  Modern wealth preservation techniques need to eliminate this hazard. 

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

This bullish for funeral directors.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Lower demand for goods and services is certainly deflationary.

PT's picture

Less customers, less slaves.  Now you fuckers will have to do your own dirty work!

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Maybe we can print more people.  Or, reanimate their corpses and command them to take out loans.