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“My father committed suicide, Mr Samara…”: suicides in Greece rose 43% due to economic crisis

When did the economic crisis begin, how many people took their lives due to burdens and loads and loan they could not deal with? Suicides rose 43% between 2011 and 2007, which was the last year before the start of the economic crisis in Greece. The suicides rate between 2010 and 2011 rose at 26.5%

According to Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) the number of suicides in

2007 were 328 suicides (268 men and 60 women)

2008 were 373 suicides (268 men and 65 women)

2009 were 391 suicides (333 men and 58 women)

2010 were 377 suicides ( 336 men and 41 women)

2011 were 477 suicides ( 393 men and 84 women).

The region with the highest suicide rate is the island of Crete

Recorded suicides: 37 in 2011, 49 in 2012 and 34 in 2013 (until August 27th)

According to NGO Klimaka that deals with homeless people and suicide prevention, 35% of people calling Klimaka’s Hot Line are unemployed, followed by self-employed and pensioners.

While a few years ago, the incoming phone calls focused on issues of mental health, now it’s social and economic problems that make people suffer.

The percentages of men and women addressing Klimaka’s suicide prevention telephone line are equal.

41% of the callers seek the aid of Klimaka because they worry about a loved one.

According to a study in 26 EU member states during the period 1970-2007 , 1 % increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a 0.79% increase in the ratio of suicides at ages younger than 65 years.

Additionally,  an increase of more than 3% in unemployment brought about an increase
of 4.45 % in the suicides of a country. The impact is bigger in
productive age ( 30-44 years) of the male population.

Klimaka suicide prevention hotline <1018> operates on 24/7. The phone calls are anonymous and confidential. The cost is one local phone call unit.

Letter to PM Samaras by a 19-year-old student

“My father committed suicide due to debts. Where’s the surplus, Mr Samaras?”

A 19-year-old student whose father allegedly committed suicide a year ago due to debts has written an open letter to Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras on the occasion of his speech at the International fair of Thessaloniki last Saturday.

“One nice afternoon, my father came in our yard, looked at the sun and shot himself with his hunting rifle.
Our live came upside down forever. He should not have done that. He should not have done this favor to them. He should had to show indifference and let them do whatever they wanted.

I do not charge Samaras with the weakness of my father. It turned out that my father was weak at the very end.

But if we had not hunted the success story he would still be with us.

Hadn’t the state chased the ordinary people my father would be with us …

Had the state put behind bars all the politicians and businessmen who ‘ate’ billions of public money my father would be with us …

Mr Samaras, my father committed suicide. what surplus are you talking about?”

Among other the anonymous writer, describes the family situation as such: that the father, self-employed started to load loans as of 2008 and that by 2012 his debts were 145,000 EUR.

“The pressure form the side of collector’s companies and the TV- journalists/terrorists was unbearable,” the student notes at one point.

He mentions that although a student, he works two jobs and earns all together some 750 euro per month.

“I work without insurance, I do not pay taxes. if I’do, my mother, my 12-year-old sister and I had nothing to eat.” (source)

PS No, in this fairy tale of Greek success story, they don’t live happily ever after…


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