Athens: Elderly Man Commits Suicide At Syntagma Square

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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…

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the hand-written note that the man had left behind was published, shocking the Greek public opinion – but more than this, the Greek politicians.

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.

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