Rabu, 04 April 2012

Austerity driving desperate folks to extreme measures - Greece today , Spain tomorrow , who knows where this ends...


Man Commits Suicide In Broad Daylight On Athens' Syntagma Square To Protest "Occupation Government"

Tyler Durden's picture

The Arabian Spring started after the self-immolation of a 26 year old fruit vendor in Tunisia to protest a life he could no longer live. Will the European Summer set off with a suicide as well? News are crossing that a few hours ago, a 77 year old Greek has killed himself in broad daylight on Athens' symbolic and inappropriately named Syntagma square to protest the "occupier government" and not wanting to be a burden to his child. As Kathimerini reports, "an elderly man committed suicide on Friday morning in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of Parliament. Some reports said witnesses claimed the man shouted «I don't want to leave debts to my children,» before he shot himself in the head. According to Skai TV, witnesses said the man did not say anything. The incident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. when the square was full of people and commuters using Syntagma metro station. The man had positioned himself next to a big tree and was not in view of most people in the square. Two people who were sitting on a bench some 10 meters away have been questioned by the police." Will this latest tragedy provoke a groundswell popular response? We doubt it - alas the status quo appears set to continue chugging along as per usual, taking advantage of an appathetic and welfare addicted society around the world.

Keep Talking Greece has more on the tragedy:
It was short before 9 o’ clock in the morning when stunned passers-by heard a gunshot and saw a man falling dead. Right there, next to a flowerbed, behind the biggest tree of the park, at the entrance of the Metro at Syntagma Square, near the stairs leading to  the Greek parliament, in the heart of Athens. The elderly man, estimated around his 60?s, put the gun on his head and pulled the trigger. A single bullet to give an end to a life of despair.

The sound of the gunshot froze the people walking at the square, during the morning rush hour.

Police and ambulance rushed to the spot, his corpse has been taken to the morgue.

Up to this hour there is no police statement about the identity of the man.

Some Greek media quoted an eye-witness claiming the man shouted “I don’t want to leave debts to my children.” Other eye-witnesses claimed, the man said nothing before pulling the trigger.

Latest information has it that  the man was 77 years old, according to his Identity Card.

A tragedy with unknown motives, a shocking act to end the day at its start…

Suicides saw a dramatic increase during the last three years of deep economic crisis. According to Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection, the suicides and attempted suicides saw a sharp rise of 22.5% since 2009. A total of 1,727 recorded suicide death and attempted suicide incidents have occurred nationwide since the Greek recession began in 2009.

The number of suicides and attempted suicides  jumped from 507 in 2009 to 622 in 2010, marking a 22.5 percent increase, and to 598 in the last year up to until December 10, 2011.
And courtesy of George Mitakides, this is what the suicide note said:
and.additional items of interest from greece today..... looks like Greece is effectively cut off from buying Iranian oil as european banks won't facilitate their purchases


News bites @ 9
by Damian Mac Con Uladh4 Apr 2012
Nick Boudas, 54, a bread delivery man, poses for a picture near the village of Filiatra, 23 March 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Boudas replied, "I lost my job, I lost everything." (Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)
Nick Boudas, 54, a bread delivery man, poses for a picture near the village of Filiatra, 23 March 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Boudas replied, "I lost my job, I lost everything." (Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)
1. SUICIDE ON SYNTAGMA It has just been reported that an individual shot himself deadon Syntagma Square this morning, shortly before 9am. Witnesses say the man was aged around 70. More on this sad news later.
2. NO IRAN OIL Hellenic Petroleum, the country's biggest refinery, has suspended purchases of Iranian crude oil as approaching sanctions on Tehran have made banking payments virtually impossible, a senior source at the firm said. Given the crisis, the government is reluctant to reduce its purchases of Iranian crude, which is cheap, ahead of an EU-wide embargo that is due to come into force on July 1. A company source said no European Union banks were willing to handle the business any more, forcing it to suspend buying this month. "We were using a Turkish bank all the time but we have to use an EU corresponding bank to make the payment from our Greek bank to the Turkish one and the EU banks are refusing that," the source told Reuters.
3. FORMER PM's OFFICE BOMBED A small bomb exploded outside the office of a former prime minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday. The device, consisting of at least five gas canisters, exploded at around 9pm on the doorstep of the firth-floor office, located on Akademias St, a police official said. "It caused just small material damage, nobody was hurt or in danger," the policeman added on condition of anonymity. "Any attempt to dynamite the country's road to elections will fail. Democracies aren't terrorised," government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis said in a statement.
4. PROJECT HELIOS It was plugged as a huge export potential, a way even to pump energy to Germany, but a senior German official has now dampened hopes of selling massive quantities of Greek solar power to Germany, saying Berlin would bolster its own renewable energy production before considering any imports. Last year, the government unveiled a plan, Project Helios, to become Europe's solar energy powerhouse, attracting up to 20bn euros of investment in the decades to come to boost its recession-hit economy and help cut its huge debt. But Germany wants to first develop its own solar capacity before considering any imports, deputy energy minister Juergen Becker told a conference in Athens.5. SLOW JUSTICE 'SYSTEMIC' The long delays of the Greek justice system are a "systemic problem" and a violation of the right to a fair hearing within a reasonable space of time, according to a pilot judgement adopted by the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday. The judgment was issued following an application by a Greek citizen whose case in a perjury-related charge had exceeded seven years. The ECHR upheld his complaint and ordered the state to pay him 3,000 euros in compensation, as well as costs. The court urged Greece to introduce remedies for this problem within the space of a year.
6. STILL PAYING BRIBES Citizens paid an estimated 554m euros in petty bribes in 2011, 78m euros less than in 2010, a report into corruption said on Tuesday. The National Survey on Corruption in Greece, published annually by Transparency International Greece, said that the financial crisis is most likely the reason for the fall in the amount requested and paid in “fakelaki” (little brown envelopes) in 2011. Nevertheless, the report found that the amounts spent on petty corruption remain significantly high, with hospitals, tax offices and planning offices the most likely place in the public sector where bribes are paid.
7. FRAUD SUSPECTS IN COURT Three men suspected of involvement in forging tax documents that businesses used to fraudulently claim VAT returns or have their tax debts written off appeared in court on Tuesday. In a raid on a number of around Piraeus, police said they seized dozens of official business stamps and invoices, a special tax office machine for perforating documents, cheques and bank books. Police say the men took a 8-12 percent cut on the sum each document was for.
8. NEXT STOP: PYRROS DIMAS! What's a Greek weightlifting champ and the London Tube got in common? Well, Pyrros Dimas is the only Greek sportsman to have been selected for inclusion on the Underground Olympic Legends Map, issued by Transport of London in celebration of the 2012 London Olympics. Pyrros’ name was given to Anerley station on the southbound East London line, the stop for the Bromley. On the special map, each underground line is dedicated to a Summer Olympic discipline or disciplines from basketball to track and field, featuring multiple gold medal winning athletes but also extraordinary athletes - and Pyrros is both!
9. ON YOUR MARKS Athens' first Half Marathon will be held on Sunday May 20 this year, with 8km and 3km fun-runs also being held that day, in an effort to attract Athenians back to the city centre. Organisers said the event will be separate from the annual Classic Marathon on November, but will used similar resources. All races in the event will start from the Kallimarmaro stadium and finish at the Zappeio mansion. Race director Evangelos Papapostolou told the Athens News that he expects 10,000 people to participate in the three events.

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