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A man shot and killed himself in the middle of Syntagma Square in Athens this morning, the location which has been the centre of protests in Greece.Dismayed with austerity measures, Dimitris Christoulas wrote in a suicide note that he could “see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance,” according to Athens News.
Greeks are suffering the consequences of harsh austerity measures demanded by core European countries led by Germany.
Christoulas reportedly wrote the following:
The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945
The Athens News report explains, “Georgios Tsolakoglou was the first collaborationist prime minister during Germany’s occupation of Greece during the Second World War. The reference has been widely interpreted as a comparison between the wartime collaborationist government and the current government of Lucas Papademos.”
Greeks have become increasingly resentful of EU-imposed austerity as well as German demands that the country surrender budget sovereignty to better carry out economic reforms.
This angst is troubling in light of parliamentary elections to be held later this spring, which are likely to unseat technocrat prime minister Lucas Papademos. Leading parties PASOK and LAOS have come under fire from other politicians in the wake of the public suicide for supporting austerity measures that have exacerbated Greece’s economic contraction. Fringe parties have been gaining traction ahead of the elections.
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