Suicides linked to economic crisis

The possibility that financial difficulties led two men to commit suicide in separate incidents in Athens yesterday is being examined by police, who have noted a rise in such cases. A 45-year-old owner of a bakery in Palaio Faliro hung himself and a 49-year-old car mechanic from Aghios Stefanos shot himself within less than two hours of each other yesterday morning. Officers think that concerns about their personal finances may have contributed to their actions. Over the past few days, similar incidents have been recorded in Crete, Trikala, Thessaloniki, Veria and Serres. Officials who run a help line for anyone contemplating suicide said that they have noticed a drastic rise in the number of callers. «Recently, the number of callers has gone up by 60 to 70 percent,» psychiatrist Kyriakos Katsadoros, who is the medical adviser for the 1018 hot line run by the Klimaka NGO and the Health Ministry. «A lot more people are now calling about their financial problems and the helplessness they feel.»

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