Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.
An elderly pensioner's suicide outside of parliament has given a face to the pain caused by Greece's financial crisis and quickly become a symbol for opponents of sweeping budget cuts imposed on the country by its international lenders, Reuters reports.
The man in question is 77-year-old Dimitris Christoulos, a retired pharmacist who shot himself in Athens on Wednesday, leaving behind a note saying that he preferred death to debt. The Guardian explains that the one-page, three-paragraph suicide note explained that he thought it would be better to have a "decent end" than be forced to scavenge in the "rubbish to feed myself."
Greece's budget cuts have sparked nationwide protests, with those that oppose the austerity measures complaining that they have left many pensioners unable to pay their mortgage of for basic necessities.
News of Christoulos's death prompted a 1,500-person protest in a public square in Athens the same night, during which riot police dispelled the crowds with tear gas. On Thursday, dozens of people crowded around a makeshift shrine for Christoulous with flowers and candles. The Washington Post has photos from the protests here.
The Guardian has more on Christoulos here.