Man shoots himself dead in central Athens

AFP , Wednesday 4 Apr 2012

Man shoots himself near the parliament building in Athens, the main rallying point for demonstrations against government austerity measures

An elderly man shot himself in the head early Wednesday in central Athens to the shock of rush hour passersby, the Ana news agency reported.

The man, whose identity was not revealed, killed himself on the stairs leading up to parliament on Syntagma Square, which for two years has been the main rallying point for demonstrations against government austerity measures.

The police launched an investigation into a possible motive.

Depression and suicides have increased in Greece amid an economic crisis that has sent unemployment soaring and salaries and pensions plummeting, though the country's suicide rate is lower than the European average.

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