More Greeks killing themselves: report
ATHENS - From online dispatches
A woman walks past a shop in Athens offering to purchase gold and jewellery for cash. AFP photoThe suicide rate in Greece has increased 40 percent in the first five months of 2011, a report by Andy Dabilis published on Greekreporter.com revealed.
Suicide rates in Greece reached the highest among European countries after a four-year-long recession, topped with 18 months of pay cuts and lay-offs by the thousands, the report said.
Data obtained from Greece's suicide hotline, 1018, indicated that financial reasons were the most common reason for suicide given to psychologists since 2007, when the line began operating. The number of calls to the phone line has quadrupled since that time, the report said.
"After Attica, most calls to the suicide hotline were from the island of Crete, where more than 20 people had taken their own lives in the last 18 months," the research results said, which was based on facts provided by the Internation Health Organization and Eurostat.
The report cites the results of a research conducted by the British journal The Lancet, which showed suicides in Greece increased by 17 percent between 2007 and 2009.
Approximately 5,000 suicides were reported in Greece in the first eight months of 2011, compared to 2,500 in all of 2010.
The report said there was no way of knowing the exact cause of the suicides, but reminded that the increase came at a time when many Greek citizens were "squeezed for survival" in a time of deep recession and a 17.5 percent unemployment rate.
Numbers provided by the report showed 45 percent of unemployed were under the age of 24 in Greece with 500,000 people without any income at all.