Austerity Drives Up Suicide Rate in Debt-Ridden Greece

Apostolos PolyzonisThe banks are getting back all their money, so I guess a 40% increase in the suicide rate is the blood the Tree of Liberty requires to grow. Teo Kermeliotis reports on CNN:

When Apostolos Polyzonis’s bank refused to see him last September, the 55-year-old Greek businessman had just 10 euros ($13) in his pocket. Out of work and bankrupt, he thought all he could do with his remaining money was to buy a gas can.Desperate and angry, Polyzonis stood outside the bank in central Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, doused himself in fuel and surrendered to the flames.

“At that moment, I saw my life as worthless, I really didn’t care if I was going to live or die,” recalls Polyzonis, who says he was hit by financial troubles after the bank recalled a loan given to him for his business. “My sense of living was much lower than my sense of self-respect and pride, the fact that I had lost my right to be a free Greek,” adds Polyzonis.

Polyzonis, a father of three, was eventually saved by police. He recovered after spending seven days in hospital on life support. His public protest made headlines and touched a nerve with many Greeks bearing the burden of a worsening debt crisis. One in five Greeks was unemployed last year, according to Eurostat figures. Many more have suffered unprecedented hardship due to increasing pension and salary cuts.

Read more here.

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  • Dusty Dusterson II

    the bankers aren’t to blame for this.

    the Greek government, and the Greek people, are to blame.  Read Michael Lewis’s “Boomerang” for the proof. You’ll discover that the Greeks lied lied lied about their economic health. The Greeks thought that the Euro was a magical lantern that would give them all wealth and happiness without their producing any goods or services of value.

    I’m really tired of the victim mentality on this website.

    • Andrew

      That’s ironic; I’m really tired of the victim mentality of conservatives and the wealthy.

      • rtb61

         Especially when they have yet to be made the victim, talk about complaining before the payback.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      No one’s saying the Greek government didn’t lie.  And lie on an unbelievably epic scale.  However, there’s a problem that your narrow worldview conveniently overlooks: it’s simply not possible to have a sales transaction without both a seller AND a buyer. 

      I have a finance background, and it’s pretty f*cking clear that what bankers did in accepting these ridiculously unrealistic numbers from the Greek government was nothing more or less than Fraud-by-Negligence.  There is simply no way that a sophisticated user of financial statements could have looked at the figures the Greek government were touting without knowing they were full of sh*t.

      Now you might could make the argument that the Greek government are more stupid than the bankers.  The bankers could have reasonably made the calculation that they’d be retired with all the “Fuck You” money they could want before the shit hit the fan.  But the Greek government must have been living in la-la land if they thought they’d be able to keep this scam afloat forever.

      But please, do not test my credulity by asking me to believe the Greek government could have floated this massively fraudulent bond issue without bankers to buy and facilitate.

      • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

        Who in Greece is benefiting from the previous decisions made by the Greek government? Decisions to commit a nation’s credit are made by, for, and usually for the exclusive benefit of the top 0.001%

        • Liam_McGonagle

          I agree-but you have to admit that it’s a pretty stupid, fumblenutz politician who’s willing to have his name plastered all over an inevitable policy failure of this magnitude.

          Horrors on this scale have to be the result of cooperation by both government and private sector elites.  But as you say, the profits are private and the losses are public.  The underlying ideology is of unregulated private markets.

      • Mrtchops

        the Greek government was/is neither stupid or in la-la land… they were/are quite simply corrupt. the quote Krusty the Clown “they drove a dump truck full of money up to my house! i’m not made of stone!”
        Greece is not the first victim of this type of financial scam, nor will it be the last… unless something in state of world affairs drastically changes. personally, i’m not holding my breath.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      I’m really tired of your blame the victim mentality.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Here’s a corrected link:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2012-04-06/world/world_europe_greece-austerity-suicide_1_pharmacist-dimitris-christoulas-shot-suicide-note-anti-austerity?_s=PM:EUROPE

    These are the saddest developments I’ve come across in a long time.  There’s some nasy MF Karmic Payback in store for the jerkwads who’re pushing this austerity crap.

  • Yannis

    first of all dusty dusterson fuck  you for saying the greeks lied period.
    2nd most greeks don’t know about Polyzoni’s case and many more similar

    You people should see from a sober point of view that history repeats it self and totalitarianism comes back not only to greece but is in your countries as well. What you consider as democracy is a joke and you westeners sit silently and let your goverments murder innocent children all around the world.

    So please people shut the fuck up or ACT and ACT with any force necessary to end this bullshit. We have the know how for ALL people to live prosperous lives happily and in peace. But some americans/europeans white trash fucking FAT bastards who are most of all sexually insecure amongst other things want to accumulate extreme wealth fuck the environment and the people to think that they are something.

    FUCK that some of us we know how to fight, we are fighting and we will escalate.
    FREEDOM FOR ALL DEATH TO ALL OPPRESSORS.
    SOLIDARITY TO ALL THE FIGHTERS FROM ZAPATISTAS TO PALESTINE TO SYRIA TO TIBET AND SO ON

    fucking ignorants  you made earth the killing ground and you will pay

  • Guest

    Austerity measures have killed a lot more people in the third world. Debt is a hell of a weapon.