Greek austerity suicides rising

This video is called Greeks in Despair: Suicide rate record high.


Greek Suicide Rate Keeps Soaring

By Andy Dabilis on November 22, 2012

Suicides in Greece, which used to have the lowest rate in Europe, are rising rapidly and coincide with crushing austerity measures that have driven 20 percent of the population into poverty.

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, on a request from Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) lawmakers, told Parliament the rate increased between 2009-11. The first pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions were imposed in 2010 but Greece has been in a recession for five years, with 25.1 percent unemployment and more than 68,000 stores closed.

More than 2,500 people have taken their own lives and attempted suicides are also soaring. Just this month, a young nurse who lost her job jumped out a window to her death. The first four months of this year saw a surge in the number of suicides among the poor and those older than 65. It has risen by more than 33 percent against the same period for 2011, with some 700 people taking their lives since January 1.

Before the financial crisis began, Greece’s suicide rate was only 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat. Earlier this year the German news magazine Der Spiegel wrote that, “Most of the suicides were among members of the middle class and, in many cases, the act itself was carried out in public, almost as if it were a theatrical performance.”

A former minister whose name was on a list of suspected tax evaders killed himself this year and people have killed themselves by jumping off balconies, hanging, and other methods. The use of anti-depressants has also jumped some 25 percent, officials said. The most publicized was that of a 77-year-old pensioner who shot himself in the head under a tree in Syntagma Square earlier this year.

Health officials said that not all the suicides were related to the economic crisis but noted the rise came at the same time many people were being pushed into desperate circumstances.

(Sources: Kathimerini, UK Daily Mail, Der Spiegel)

About 3,000 protesters marched in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Saturday against an environment-threatening gold mining project: here.

People living in deprived areas of Scotland are twice as likely to commit suicide, a leading mental health charity warned today: here.

About 10,000 protesters marched through Dublin on Saturday in opposition to Ireland’s sixth straight austerity budget: here.

30 thoughts on “Greek austerity suicides rising

  1. Left gaining as austerity continues

    Thursday 22 November 2012

    Support for Bulgaria’s ruling GERB party fell to 24.5 per cent in November, dropping by 2.3 percentage points from September as the European Union’s poorest nation struggles under austerity measures.

    With less than eight months to go before general elections, support for the opposition Socialists has risen to 19 per cent from 17.5 per cent, according to a public opinion survey published today by state-funded pollster NPOC.

    Thousands of Bulgarians protested on Saturday against the government’s handling of the struggling economy and called on the cabinet to resign in one of the country’s biggest anti-austerity rallies in recent years.

    Bulgaria’s jobless rate rose to 11 per cent in October.


  2. Greek municipal workers occupy town halls protesting against public sector job losses

    Greek municipal workers occupied hundreds of town halls across the country for a fifth day last week to protest against public sector layoffs driven by the demands of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    As part of its pledges to the EU, ECB and IMF lenders, the Greek government intends to place around 27,000 workers into a layoff scheme. City and local workers are expected to be among the first to be laid off under the plan.

    “Their protests have intensified since the Greek government passed a package of austerity measures earlier this month, with workers this week staging daily sit-ins at more than two thirds of the country’s 330 city halls and several ministries,” said Reuters on November 22.

    On the same day, around 3,000 municipal workers marched in central Athens chanting “Their measures—our funeral”, holding black balloons. They carried a coffin and three wreaths in a symbolic protest against what they called the “the elimination of the public sector.”

    Over 40,000 clerks, nursery school teachers, gardeners, garbage collectors, policemen and gravediggers are employed in municipalities across the country.

    Recently released data shows that household disposable income shrank by about 14 percent in the second quarter from the same period in 2011, as wages dropped by 15 percent and taxes increased by a massive 37 percent.


    Health workers protest austerity measures in Madrid

    Thousands of public health workers protested in the Spanish capital of Madrid Tuesday against the government’s austerity measures. The demonstration was part of a second day of a public health workers strike in Madrid against the looming privatization of hospitals and health centres.

    The protesters were holding anti-austerity flags as they marched in Madrid. quoted Doctor Conchita Arroyo as saying: “Privatization cannot happen. They cannot privatize something that belongs to all of us and that we already pay for with our taxes.”

    Nurse Oscar Martinez said the government’s austerity cuts are affecting the quality of the care for patients in public hospitals. “The cuts have been so abrupt that floors that used to have four nurses now have two, and patients are the ones suffering the consequences. They do not get the same attention,” said Martinez.

    The Spanish economy, the fourth-largest in the 17-nation euro zone, went into recession in the second half of 2008, wiping out millions of jobs. Official unemployment is around 25 percent, while the youth jobless rate is double that.

    Workers at Spain’s Iberia Airlines to strike

    Workers at Spanish national airline, Iberia, are to take industrial action during the December holiday, according to a report on Spanish television network RTVE.

    Earlier this month, Iberia’s parent company the International Airlines Group (IAG) announced it would shed 4,500 jobs, 25 aircraft and several routes.

    The company also aims to impose pay cuts on the 15,500 remaining staff, with pilots to take a reduction of over 47 percent and other workers of up to 35 percent.

    Iberia’s Division Chief Executive, Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, has made it clear that the company is not willing to jeopardise its plans to make operating profit of €300 million by 2015.

    Between December 2011 and March this year, Iberia aircrew held 12 one-day strikes in protest at the launch of the Iberia low-cost airline Iberia Express and its resulting in poorer working conditions.


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