The Arabian Spring started after the self-immolation of a 26 year old fruit vendor in Tunisia to protest a life he could no longer live. Will the European Summer set off with a suicide as well? News are crossing that a few hours ago, a 77 year old Greek has killed himself in broad daylight on Athens' symbolic and inappropriately named Syntagma square to protest the "occupier government" and not wanting to be a burden to his child. As Kathimerini reports, "an elderly man committed suicide on Friday morning in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of Parliament. Some reports said witnesses claimed the man shouted «I don't want to leave debts to my children,» before he shot himself in the head. According to Skai TV, witnesses said the man did not say anything. The incident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. when the square was full of people and commuters using Syntagma metro station. The man had positioned himself next to a big tree and was not in view of most people in the square. Two people who were sitting on a bench some 10 meters away have been questioned by the police." Will this latest tragedy provoke a groundswell popular response? We doubt it - alas the status quo appears set to continue chugging along as per usual, taking advantage of appathetic and welfare addicted societies around the world.
Keep Talking Greece has more on the tragedy:
It was short before 9 o’ clock in the morning when stunned passers-by heard a gunshot and saw a man falling dead. Right there, next to a flowerbed, behind the biggest tree of the park, at the entrance of the Metro at Syntagma Square, near the stairs leading to the Greek parliament, in the heart of Athens. The elderly man, estimated around his 60?s, put the gun on his head and pulled the trigger. A single bullet to give an end to a life of despair.
The sound of the gunshot froze the people walking at the square, during the morning rush hour.
Police and ambulance rushed to the spot, his corpse has been taken to the morgue.
Up to this hour there is no police statement about the identity of the man.
Some Greek media quoted an eye-witness claiming the man shouted “I don’t want to leave debts to my children.” Other eye-witnesses claimed, the man said nothing before pulling the trigger.
Latest information has it that the man was 77 years old, according to his Identity Card.
A tragedy with unknown motives, a shocking act to end the day at its start…
Suicides saw a dramatic increase during the last three years of deep economic crisis. According to Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection, the suicides and attempted suicides saw a sharp rise of 22.5% since 2009. A total of 1,727 recorded suicide death and attempted suicide incidents have occurred nationwide since the Greek recession began in 2009.
The number of suicides and attempted suicides jumped from 507 in 2009 to 622 in 2010, marking a 22.5 percent increase, and to 598 in the last year up to until December 10, 2011.
And courtesy of George Mitakides, this is what the suicide note said: