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Greeks riot like crazy following yesterday's tragic suicide


Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens on April 4, 2012. An elderly man shot himself in the head on Wednesday in Athens' central Syntagma Square, a focal point of anti-austerity protests, reportedly crying out that he did not want to leave his children in debt. Police said the 77-year-old, whose identity was not revealed, killed himself outside the Syntagma metro station, around 100 metres (yards) from parliament, which for two years has been the main rallying point for demonstrations against government austerity measures.


Aris Messinis

Following yesterday's tragic suicide in the middle of Athens, Syntagma Square saw both protests and violence.

The BBC reports hundreds of protesters gathered in the square just hours after the suicide of Dimitris Christoulas, with petrol bombs thrown at police and tear gas fired in return.

Athens News reports that the demonstrators had organized themselves with social media, appearing under a banner that read "Let's not get used to death."

At the site of Christoulas' suicide sit many tributes, with flowers and one note reading "enough is enough."

The head of the Attica Pharmacists' Association Kostas Lourantos (of which Christoulas was formerly a member) released a statement that read:

"The way he chose is a statement of a political position and stance. If this man had killed himself at home there would not have been such a stir, as there had not been for the previous 1900 suicides. It is an incident that we must look at among many other incidents of suicide in our country, the country of sun and laughter."

Reports last year suggest that the Greek suicide rate rose at least 17 percent during the financial crisis.

WATCH BBC Footage of the scene:

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