Greeks have been leaving tributes to the pensioner who shot himself dead outside the parliament in Athens in protest at the government’s austerity measures.
77-year-old Dimitris Christoulas, a retired chemist, wrote in a suicide note that he preferred this fate to having to rummage through garbage cans for food.
Among the candles and notes of sympathy were comments such as “enough is enough” and “who will be the next victim?”.
The media coverage has reflected the shock. One conservative paper called the victim a “martyr for Greece”. The prime minister issued a statement describing the man’s death as a “tragedy”.
Amid the sympathy there’s also anger. Many are describing the death as murder, not suicide, and blame Greece’s politicians for kowtowing to international creditors.
On Thursday outside the Bank of Greece in another austerity-related protest, union members demonstrated against the government’s recent bond swap deal.
They complain that under the so-called haircut, investments have been devalued.
One protester described it as “robbery of the Greek people.”
Greece is in its fifth year of recession, amid austerity measures demanded by international lenders in exchange for bailout aid.
Wednesday night saw clashes in central Athens after the pensioner’s suicide. Hundreds vented their fury on police, who responded with tear gas.
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