Thursday, 5 April 2012

Enough is Enough

The tragedy unfolding in Greece has escalated to such a stage now that I am increasingly concerned by pan-European complicity in the austerity measures planned to save the Euro - a currency nobody wanted - which are putting so many human lives at stake.

I have talked about Greece repeatedly in this blog. It's been hard not to. It has after all been the focal point of European news for over a year.

But today's news about the suicide of a 77 year old retired chemist outside Parliament in Athens last night has to be talked about. In fact, it has to be shouted and screamed about.

This high profile case caught the public's attention and sparked further rioting in the country's capital. Petrol bombs were hurled at police and tear gas fired back.

The carefully written note was without doubt designed to strike a chord with society. In many people's eyes, the man unofficially named by the Greek press as Dimitris Christoulas, is a martyr.

The retired chemist, with a wife and a daughter, had sold his pharmacy in 1994.

He shot himself in Syntagma Square in the city centre just before 09:00. His note accused the government of cutting his pension to such an extent that life had become unbearable.

It read

"The government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state.

"And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting... I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don't find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance."

Hundreds of demonstrators turned out onto the streets outside Parliament on Wednesday evening, pinning notes to trees that read "Enough is enough" and "Who will be the next victim?"

Greece used to have the lowest suicide rate in Europe. In recent months it has soared, in Athens alone it has risen by 25%. The face of the country has changed. Shop fronts are closed up, homeless people are more evident, there's a sense of discord hanging in the air.

Early elections due in just over a month could bring about interesting results. The question is whether the results will be quashed by Brussels if they do not serve up on a platter an ideal puppet for the European Commission to manipulate in order to save their beloved single currency.

The situation in Greece is no longer about the Euro. It is no longer about free trade and rules on bendy bananas and protecting post war Europe through solidarity. It is about real people who cannot work, cannot live and cannot eat.

Almost a third of Greeks are at risk of poverty, with one in five of those unable to afford meat every other day.

Suicides increased by 18% in 2010 from the previous year, according to Reuters.

When the price to pay for a political ideology is people's lives - then the international community has a duty to stand up and say

enough is enough


  1. The ruling classes are to blame, I spoke to Marta Andras last week in Bognor. Bryan Bufton

  2. From

  3. My email is bryanbufton@o2/co/uk