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Greek Pensioner's Public Suicide Linked To Financial Crisis

A Greek pensioner has shot himself dead in the busiest public square of Athens during morning rush hour, leaving a note that linked his suicide with the country's financial troubles.

Hours after the 77-year-old retired pharmacist killed himself at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek parliament, hundreds of antiausterity protesters gathered at the spot in a protest that accused Greek politicians of driving people to despair with budget cuts aimed at securing international bailouts.

The suicide jolted public opinion and quickly entered political debate.

The suicide rate rose by 40 percent in Greece last year compared to 2010 and reportedly is continuing to rise.

Experts attribute the trend to cutbacks in spending for social programs.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters