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Greek tragedy as orchestra player’s father takes his life in despair

Musicians of the ERT orchestras, suspended last month when the government shut down public broadcasting, have been plunged into deep mourning by the suicide of a player’s father. The father of Dimitris Theologiti had begun to show signs of depression after the orchestra was shut down. Yesterday, he plunged into the main reservoir of the town of Amorgos. We have been informed by members of the orch.

Suicides are rising sharply in Greece. The Hellenic Statistical Authority interval reports 1,245 suicides in the three years 2009-2011. From end 2011 to August 2012, there were 3,124 suicides or suicide attempts.

A person who sees children or grandchildren without food may decide there is no other way.

Our thoughts, prayers and tears are with the Theologiti family.


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  1. James Brinton says:

    As to root causes, I dare say that the suicides of the top fifty bankers in Germany, France, London, the ECB and the IMF would not be viewed as being as tragic as this single death.
    Indeed, the passing of these obsessed followers of austerity–a policy now completely discredited by both academe and events, as well as being the cause of immense human suffering–would probably be greeted with cheers, fireworks, and free concerts throughout Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and perhaps almost all of Europe.

  2. Sadly, suicides like this are happening frequently in Spain, too. Not because of any orchestra’s demise, but because of people losing their homes. The Spanish govt. has finally had to place restrictions on evictions due to bank foreclosures of homes, because so many people have been killing themselves as an alternative to being homeless. They jump out of windows when the police come to evict them, they set themselves on fire, all sorts of tragic deaths, all economy-related.

    • GGV1982 says:

      Suicide attempts in Spain are fortunately rare enough to make it to the pages of newspapers.

      • Timon Wapenaar says:

        Since suicide is the main cause of violent death in Spain, one assumes “attempts” are rarities. More people die from suicide than in car accidents. Nine every day. What’s the suicide rate where you are, GGV1982?

  3. Why does no one put the finger on the ultimate cause of all this social upheaval, the euro? It was a wildly vainglorious idea from the start, and the inevitable disintegration it was always bound to bring is now playing itself out as ineluctably as anyone with a ha’p’orth of economic commonsense knew it would. It’s not the suicides of fifty bankers that would expiate the effects of such hubris but those of all the federasts in Brussels who were and still are prepared to sacrifice the peoples of Europe on the altar of their grotesque and ill-informed ambition.

    • Could not have said it any better myself!

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      That doesn’t seem to make sense to me. People in many countries have the Euro but not all of them borrowed and spent like crazy and then riot in the streets or jump out of the window when the time has come to pay back their debts. And it seems like that is more typical in countries which hadn’t had a stable economy and currency before the Euro either. So I think it’s more about fiscal sanity and responsibility than about the currency, and also about deeper structural and social issues in those societies.

      • It seems to me that the people who “borrowed and spent like crazy” (and made huge profits from doing so) and the ones who “riot in the steets and jump out of the window” are rarely the same crowd.

      • You make my very point: countries are different, with different fiscal traditions and economies in varying states of health, not least because of more or less mature political establishments from country to country. And, as you further point out, national attitudes to economic responsibility vary considerably (in some countries, for example, saving is a more natural reflex than in others). So to expect the straightjacket of the euro to be worn as comfortably in Thessaliki and Barcelona as in Bremen and Lyons is plainly wrong. No one would argue for a moment that there wasn’t any amount of shit that needed to be shovelled out of the Mediterranean economies, but the degree and the rapidity of the shovelling ought to be decisions taken by the voters in the countries in question (no matter how flawed the democratic process), not a self-perpetuating, unelected elite in Brussels.

      • Timon Wapenaar says:

        The Dutch private sector is the most indebted of any Eurozone country. German, French and UK banks are outrageously undercapitalised, with several of them in daily danger of going to the wall. Luckily for them, they were able to shift the nasty parts of their balance sheets onto the backs of Greek, Irish, Cypriot and Portuguese taxpayers. Otherwise it would be the Germans rioting in the streets.

  4. Sorry to be nitpicking on such a tragic subject.

    The suicide statistics compare apples with oranges, I’m afraid. The first set of data relates to actual suicides, the second includes suicide attempts, but one doesn’t know how many of these led to death). While there is evidence that the suicide rate has risen considerably (, a fairly reliable source I would have thought) the way the figures are presented above and read at speed might make things look even worse than they are.

    But of course every suicide is regrettable.

  5. James Chater says:

    The underlying problem is borrowing money to finance economic growth. If or when the growth fails to materialise, there is a financial meltdown. Whether it is the banking crisis of 2008, the Euro crisis or whatever… The answer it seems to me is to get rid of runaway borrowing by renouncing economic growth as an aim. This is unlikely to happen for 2 reasons: (1) the politicians are too frightened to tell the truth to their electorate, that economic growth is unsustainable; (2) end of growth would necessitate an end to the “trickle-down” fiction and facing up to the need for redistribution of wealth. The neocons, rich and powerful do not want to do this.

    • Timon Wapenaar says:

      100%. Growth for growth’s sake is lunacy: resources are finite. When the resources and the real economy runs scarce, fictitious, financialised “growth” is substituted for the real thing to keep the numbers looking good for the punters. The facade only lasts for so long, however.

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