The nations of Europe are facing a new plague, a human tragedy sparked by austerity regimes mandated by the banksters who refuse to take responsibility for their own reckless practices.
Through their tools in the governments of the European Union, the banksters have imposed drastic austerity mandates on nations already devastated by the economic collapse triggered by the frenzied greed of Wall Street.
With salaries slashed, pensions sacrificed, and social services gutted, the growing numbers of poor and unemployed are taking what to many seems their only out, suicide.
The tragedy was highlighted Wednesday in Syntagma Square in the heart of Athens by the suicide of retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas, driven to his act by his inability to pay for his own sustenance.
First, a report from the BBC:
More from RT:
A 77-year-old Greek man has 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.
Additional details from Honor Mahoney of Euobserver:
His exact financial situation remains unclear but reports say he was seriously ill and was struggling to pay for medicine. His suicide prompted a spontaneous gathering of around 2000 people in Syntagma Square later on Wednesday.
The pensioner’s apparent struggle to pay medical bill comes as Papademos’ government has made massive spending cuts in the face of demands by the EU partners and IMF, which have agreed to give the country two loans: €110bn in 2010 and €130bn earlier this year.
The cuts have seen unemployment shoot up while salaries and pension have dropped. Ordinary Greeks speak of the difficulty of trying to manage their money as the government imposes a series of ‘one-off’ taxes.
“I had to pay 600 euro – the basic monthly salary in Greece – for a ‘solidarity tax’ a couple of months ago. After that there came a ‘special tax’ for anyone who owns property. The way it was implemented shows the government knew how unpopular it would be. So the property tax was taken through your electricity bill,” Paul Kidner, a Greek entrepreneur, wrote on Yahoo News recently.
The day after the pensioner’s suicide Ekathimerini reported that hundreds of cancer patients are having trouble finding lifesaving drugs as hospitals cut down on their purchase of the expensive drugs and state doctors are wary of proscribing them.
And from Deutsche Welle:
Costas Lourantos, president of the regional pharmacists’ union, said he had met the victim once several years ago.
“When dignified people like him are brought to this state, somebody must answer for it,” Lourantos was quoted by Reuters as saying. “There is a moral instigator to this crime – which is the government that has brought people to such despair.”
And here’s his suicide note, via For what we are… they will be:
The Tsolakoglou* [Quisling] occupation government literally nullified my ability to survive on a decent pension, for which I had already paid (without government aid) for 35 years.
I am of an age that prevents me from offering a decent individual response (without of course ruling out the possibility of being the second person to take arms, should one person decide to do so), I find no solution other than a dignified end, before resorting to going through garbage in order to cover my nutritional needs.
One day, I believe, the youth with no future will take up arms and hang the national traitors at syntagma square, just like the Italians did with Mussolini in 1945 (at Milan’s Piazzale Loreto)
—Dimitris Christoulas, Syntagma, Athens, April 4th, 2012
And a report on a rising wave of what we can only call austerity suicides sweeping across Europe from RT’s Tesa Arcilla:
Suicides in Italy
Another nation which has seen a spike in suicides is the other member of the PIIGS nation blessed with a bankster-installed technocratic government.
The report from Reuters:
An Italian man shot himself dead on Wednesday because his company was going bust, following a wave of economy-related suicides in the country which one opposition politician blamed on Prime Minister Mario Monti’s reforms.
The 59-year-old Rome-based construction firm owner left a note apologising to family members and explaining that his business had failed, police said.
A day earlier, a 78-year-old woman in Sicily jumped to her death because her monthly pension payments had been reduced. On Monday, a picture frame maker hanged himself because of economic difficulties.
And last week, two men set themselves on fire in northern Italy due to financial woes. Both survived, one with severe burns.
The Independent’s Peter Popham reports on the latest suicides as merely the latest manifestations of a phenomenon that has been sweeping across the countries of Western and Southern Europe:
The suicide of Dmitiris Christoulas, which triggered a new bout of rioting in the Greek capital, threw a spotlight on the fact which European authorities have gone to considerable lengths to obscure as they struggle to come up with ways to get European economies back on an even keel.
As the British researcher David Stuckler has spelt out in a series of shocking reports in The Lancet, suicide rates have risen right across Europe since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, with strict correlation between the intensity of the crisis and the rise in the statistics.
In 2006 he predicted that the new economic crisis would result in “increased suicides among people younger than 66 years”. Two years on the prediction was vindicated: as job losses increased rapidly, to about 37 per cent above the 2007 level in both parts of Europe, “the steady downward turn in suicide rates… reversed at once.
“The 2008 increase was less than 1 per cent in the new member states, but in the old ones it increased by about 7 per cent. In both, suicides increased further in 2009,” he reported.