A 77-YEAR-old pensioner named as Dimitris Christoulas, an ex-owner of a chemist shop, shot himself in the head on Wednesday morning in Syntagma square in front of the Vouli (Greek parliament) in Athens.
A note found on him stated: ‘The occupation government have crushed any possibility of survival based on a dignified pension which I had paid for 35 years.’
The note added: ‘I am not of an age that would make me able for dynamic action. If there was a Greek who will pick up a Kalashnikov I would have been next, and I cannot find a solution but a dignified end before I start searching in rubbish bins for my food.’
In an astonishing final third paragraph the note states: ‘I believe that the youth who have no future, one day they will take up arms and in Syntagma square they will hang upside down the nation’s traitors as the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945 at the Piazza Porretto in Milan.’
Thousands of people went to Syntagma square in the afternoon and in the evening to lay flowers along with anti-government notes at the place where Christoulas died.
Protestors congregated outside the Vouli shouting slogans against the government, the European Union and the IMF.
Some people threw plastic water bottles at the hundreds of armed riot police guarding the Vouli building.
Almost immediately, the riot police started throwing tear gas grenades against the crowds.
As night fell clashes developed between youths throwing stones and riot police using noise and smoke bombs along with tear gas.
Police even attacked older women and men paying their respects to Christoulas.
Late into the night, riot police launched yet another operation, with extensive use of tear gas, to clear the square attacking anyone on site. Syntagma square was filled with tear gas.
Hundreds of people were gathering in Syntagma square on Thursday morning.
In Thessaloniki, a demonstration took place throughout the city centre with protesters shouting slogans for the overthrow of the government.
Earlier in the day in Athens, building workers, shop assistants and archaeologists staged their own demonstrations at the Labour Ministry and at the Vouli against the abolition of collective agreements, mass sackings and legislation that makes the state archaeological service subservient to property developers.