Suicide of pensioner has created 'a martyr for Greece'


The suicide of a Greek pensioner outside parliament has become a symbol of the pain of austerity and has been seized upon by opponents of the budget cuts imposed by Greece’s international lenders.

The retired pharmacist, Dimitris Christoulas (77), shot himself in the head on Wednesday after saying that financial troubles had pushed him over the edge. A suicide note said he preferred to die rather than scavenge for food.

On Thursday, dozens of Greeks gathered around the place where he died, leaving flowers and candles. The so-called Indignant protesters, who held daily sit-ins for months last year, said they would hold a second day of protests. A separate protest was planned in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The conservative newspaper Eleftheros Typos called Mr Christoulas a “martyr for Greece” and said his act was filled with “profound political symbolism” that could “shock Greek society and the political world and awaken their conscience” before a parliamentary election to determine Greece’s future. – (Reuters)