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“Double suicide” due to pension cut urges Greek gov’t to address humanitarian crisis asap

A middle-aged woman and her son apparently jumped to death from the fifth floor of the building they were tenants. The woman, 63, died immediately, the son, 27, two hours later in the hospital where he was transferred. The tragedy occurred Wednesday morning in Chalkida, on the island of Euboia in Eastern Greece. A neighbor found the bodies and informed ambulance and police.

The local community and the neighbors are in shock. They knew that the family was struggling with severe economic problems.

They left no note behind, it is not clear whether the one person pushed the other over the edge or they both jumped at the same time.

The son was allegedly suffering from psychological problems.

Local media report, that the mother was receiving a small disability pension and that this was cut off. The mother was often seeking the help of charitable fund of the municipality.

 “She was unable to pay rent for the last 3.5 years,” reports noting that “the landlord knew about the financial problems of the family and he helped them financially.”

 ”I used to see the woman every day and greet her. I knew that they had financial problems but I never imagined it would come to this point,” a neighbor told a news portal, noting that he had never seen the son.

According to local media, policemen who entered the apartment found it “clean and with a few pieces of furniture. Police found also “a judicial notification, probably in relation with the cutting off of the pension,” the family’s only income.

According to latest information coming in this evening, the family had tried to regain access to the disability pension, but authorities rejected the request. It is not clear when the “judicial notification” had arrived.

On the way to the hospital, the young man had reportedly told paramecis that “We were desperate”.

Neighbors speak of a “very proud woman.”

Police investigates the causes.

Police investigates the causes... and then what? Will the police file a law suit against the ex Troika and the austerity measures, against the previous governments, the minister who cut the disability pension?

As I read the news this morning, another case of “double” suicide jumped in front of my eyes: it was in May 2012, when a jobless musician, 60, pushed his 90-year-old mother over the edge of a multi-storey building in a district of Athens. The woman was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Searching through KTG-articles concerning suicides in Greece of loan agreements and austerity, I have to admit that I am shocked of the number and my own ‘forgotten’ articles : suicides recorded an increase of 43% when compared to the years before the economic crisis. There were times when 4-5 suicides occurred on a single day.

Sometime ago I stopped reporting about desperate people taking their life due to economic problems. I couldn’t take it anymore.

Lately it seemed as if these tragic incidents had decreased. I may have missed in the news websites. Mainstream television networks do not report about such cases.

The government may have changed, but the humanitarian crisis is still here. It is hidden behind closed doors, in descent and “clean” homes “with very few pieces of furniture,” buried covered under pillows of tattered dignity.

And this problem has to be addressed immediately.


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One comment

  1. Yes immediately. If the petty disagreements and haggling amongst the new government could stop it would help. Just get on with the job. We never want to return to the scoundrels who brought Greece to this dreadful situation. I’m disgusted at their attitude of spite and shameless disregard.