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Second night of clashes in Athens following pensioner's suicide


Greece

Second night of clashes in Athens following pensioner's suicide

Greek police clashed with protesters for a second night on Thursday at the site where a 77-year-old man committed suicide.

Groups of demonstrators gathered in central Athens in memory of retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas, who shot himself in the head on Wednesday. The pensioner left a suicide note blaming Greece’s tough austerity measures for his action.

Riot police formed a cordon around the Greek parliament and used tear gas to disperse the crowds as they shouted “killers, killers”.

The highly public nature of the suicide has prompted an outpouring of sympathy. Many people left handwritten notes, candles and flowers at an impromptu shrine. Resentment is rising among ordinary Greeks over repeated wage and pension cuts as the Greek economy continues to shrink.

As analysts blamed economic hardship for a dramatic increase in suicides since 2009, national media described Christoulas as a “martyr for Greece”.

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