NEWS

Sharp rise in suicides during Greek crisis, but stats leave unanswered questions

The rate of suicides in Greece since the start of the crisis has risen sharply, according to data made public on Thursday, which does not clarify if this increase can be attributed to economic problems.

In response to a question from two SYRIZA deputies, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias produced police figures showing that 677 people had killed themselves in 2009, 830 in 2010, 927 in 2011 and 690 up to August 23 this year.

The fact that more than 3,100 Greeks have killed themselves during the years of the economic crisis will draw further attention to its human impact. However, police data do not provide details on these suicides, such as the circumstances or the age of the people involved.

It should be noted that in 2009, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in the European Union, according to Eurostat data. There were three suicides for every 100,000 citizens in Greece three years ago, compared to an EU average of 10.4.

The figures produced by Dendias also raise questions about data made public by his predecessor Christos Papoutsis, who earlier this year gave statistics to Parliament which showed fewer suicided. Papoutsis said there were 507 suicides in 2009, 622 in 2010 and 590 in 2011.

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