A cash-strapped Greek pensioner shot and
killed himself outside parliament in Athens on Wednesday saying he
refused to scrounge for food in the rubbish, touching a nerve among
ordinary Greeks feeling the brunt of the country's economic crisis.
The public suicide by the 77-year-old retired pharmacist quickly triggered
an outpouring of sympathy in a country where one in five is jobless and a
sense of national humiliation has accompanied successive rounds of
salary and pension cuts.
Just hours after the death, an impromptu
shrine with candles, flowers and hand-written notes protesting the
crisis sprung up in the central Syntagma square where the suicide
occurred. Dozens of bystanders gathered to pay their respects.
One note nailed to a tree said "Enough is enough", while another asked "Who will be the next victim?".
The "Indignant" protesters, who have turned out in the thousands against
austerity measures imposed by foreign lenders in exchange for bailout
loans, said they planned a march later on Wednesday.
"This is a human tragedy," government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis said as politicians in parliament decried the death.
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