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Drowned in debts, small cafe owner commits suicide in Symi

A small entrepreneur on the island of Symi put an end to his life unable to cope with his debts. The 60-year-old man was found hanging in his small cafe by his friends, taxi drivers who used to have their morning coffee before starting work. The small community on the island is in shock.

“We knew he had debts regarding the shop, he was trying to regulate them but he could not do it. He would sleep in the cafe sometimes and leave the door open for us, we would wake him up and he would prepare the coffee. This morning the cafe was not open as usual, O opened the door and saw him hanging over the bar. It seemed Dimitris was not well lately, he was sinking in debts. Unfortunately, he leaves behind two young children, whom he raised on his own because he became a widower at young age. Unfortunately, fate stroke him very badly,” one of his friends wrote on a local website.

“Unfortunately, others may also choose the path of suicide because debts are unbearable,”,  the mayor of Symi, Eleftherios Papakalodoukas said pointing out at the harsh realities in small communities.

“The man had come last week to settle debts at the municipality. I could hardly recognize him. He had lost a lot of weight, he was concerned and in distress. I told him not to worry because everyone had debts, you’re not the only one. Unfortunately, however, he found the solution in suicide.”

The mayor underlined the harsh reality for businessmen on small islands saying “they cannot cover their debts with just four months work in summer time.” The pointed out at the scrapping of Discount Value Added Tax on the islands and the intensified controls of the tax auditors. “The increase of VAT  24% and the strict controls by tax authorities have brought island’s businessmen on their knees,” the mayor said stressing “People are in deadlock” He expressed his fear that “if the situation continues, there will be others” to follow the path of the cafe owner.

Symi is a small, picturesque island in the south of the Dodecanese in the Aegean Sea, very close to Turkey. It has 2,590-inhabitants,whose main income source is tourism during the summer months.

Suicides in Greece have skyrocketed after the economic crisis broke out in 2010.

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4 comments

  1. Very sad. RIP

  2. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    The Greek islanders have been treated shamefully by the Troika and Greek politicians. Not only have many had to bear the brunt of mass inflows of refugees, followed by the establishment of concentration camps because northern Europe doesn’t want to be inconvenienced, but special dispensations for seasonal islands economies (including subsidised boat fares and lower VAT rates) have all been abandoned in order to collect more money for rich eurozone countries and their banks.

  3. tsipras goes to console a migrant family whose feelings were hurt, but a greek who is so crushed by this insane government that he ends his own life, and tsipras can’t be bothered to even notice. when will we put all these politicians and bankers in prison?

  4. Hecataeus Miletus

    I know some think of suicide but I feel sorry for the two orphan children he left behind. When people commit suicide, do they think of the family left behind? I don’t really know the answer to this if anyone does? Very said.