“Wife, I won’t come back home. I have nothing to offer. I’m nothing. I love you all. Take care of the children … ” With these words Giorgos Chatzis made a last phone call to his family and bade farewell. Then he moved to put an end to his life. Giorgos Chatzis is one of the 3,000 victims claimed by the harsh austerity and economic crisis that hit Greeks since May 2010.
The 60-year-old construction worker had made this phone call on August 29th. The day he visited IKA in Siatista to receive his pension. The man must have suffered a shock to hear the insurance fund had scrap his disability pension. 400 euro. The only economic resource of the family.
George Chatzis spent his whole life working as a construction worker. Six years ago, he had a serious accident during his work that made work impossible.
“For four years he was receiving disability pension of 350 euro and social benefit EKAS [for low pensioners] of 50 euro per month,” his wife told newspaper Eleftheros Typos. These 400 euros became the only resource for the family.
Last February, IKA informed Chatzis that it would cut off the disability pension. The man started a bureacuratic adventure from office to office and authority to authority in order to keep the pension. The final negative reply came from IKA on August 29th.
George Chatzis would have to wait for five years without income, in order to reach the age of 65 and get granted a reduced pension according to retirement age regulations for the private sector. [Taking into account the latest austerity bill, he would have to wait until 67 and get a reduced pension of probably 300 euro because he would certainly be missing some thousands IKA pension-stamps needed for full pension.]
A horror perspective, the man was unable to bear.
George Chatzis’ body in advanced decomposition was found by a shepperd a copuple of days ago. Hanging from a rock in the mountain area of Galatini, in Western Macedonia. (with Proto Thema)