Two more tragedies joined the statistics

Last Monday, a young man from the north-western Greek city of Ptolemaida committed suicide. He was 37 years old and was facing serious economic problems. He constructed a makeshift gallows at home and hung himself. Seconds before he sent an SMS to the wife of his brother who arrived at his apartment and saw him dead. A note was found next to him where he explained that he took that decision because he couldn’t take it any more being chased by the banks for his debts.

Two days earlier, on Saturday night another man in the nearby town of Proastio Eordeas committed suicide for similar reasons. He was 58 years old and was found hanged inside his home’s garage by his daughter.

The Police hasn’t found any clues that would connect the deaths to an assassination or accident.

They are the two last additions to a long list of suicides which have taken place in Greece due to the economic crisis. Even though we are discussing the consequences of a capitalist phenomenon, I will paraphrase Stalin’s famous quote and say “When two men die it is a tragedy, when thousands die it’s statistics”.

According to Kostas Lolis, Director of Sismanoglion Hospital’s Psychiatric Clinic, in 2009 there has been about 1 suicide per day in Greece. In 2010 this number was doubled. This is generally attributed to the economic crisis as media reports often mention suicides of either businessmen who went bankrupt or people who were unemployed for a long period of time. The island of Crete has a special mention in this (although there is no explanation as to why the number is higher there). Additionally, the number of people who called the “1018” emergency number to seek advise on the issue, has also been doubled in 2010. The study of Mr. Lolis can be found here (in Greek.

4 responses to “Two more tragedies joined the statistics

  1. Suicide numbers do not worry me so much. Yes, of course they are a tragedy, but it’s not a tragedy that is actually affecting the rest of us. The “big” tragedy is the way the economic crisis is destroying young people, mainly those who are still at school ages. The people who committed suicide, had some dreams, made some plans and became desperate when they saw these plans falling apart. I work in schools and I see young people who don’t even have the opportunity to dream. They don’t hope at all. When you listen to the way they describe the world, you understand that this is a much more serious tragedy…

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  2. Its realy bad for those men and there famely. But its also a sighn and a warning.You can even driven to suicide by the banks . They see ppl not as humans but only as something you can and may abuse. That must change to. Those man are stil alive when they didnt been hunted by banks, but instead banks talk more instead of demanding. I hope those banks dont get 1 cent back.

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    • there have been some (around 3 I think) cases where citizens went to court and had their debts written off. However the norm is that people get stressed and banks asking for their money. Depression is another sort of epidemic which has one of its roots in the economic crisis. I’ll try to write some stats in a following post.

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