Researchers highlight link between cuts and suicides

There has been a direct link between fiscal austerity and a sharp rise in male suicides in Greece, according to research carried out by academics at the University of Portsmouth in the UK.

The research by Nikos Antonakakis, a senior lecturer in economics and finance, and co-author Alan Collins, an economics professor, was published in the Social Science and Medicine journal and highlighted by a report on Monday in The Guardian newspaper.

The two academics found that 551 men killed themselves in Greece “solely because of fiscal austerity” between 2009 and 2010 and that every 1 percent reduction in government spending led to a 0.43 percent rise in suicides among men. Suicides among women were not affected.

There were 508 suicides in Greece in 2012, according to figures published last month by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). This represented a rise of 36 percent since 2008, before the country’s economic crisis began.