A Greek retiree has shot himself dead in Athens' main square, blasting politicians over the country's financial crisis in a suicide note that triggered violent clashes hours later between police and anti-austerity protesters.
Riot police fired tear gas and flash grenades after protests attended by some 1,500 people turned violent on Wednesday, and youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs outside Parliament. Authorities reported no injuries or arrests.
The 77-year-old retired pharmacist drew a handgun and shot himself in the head near a subway exit on central Syntagma Square which was crowded with commuters, police said. The square, opposite Parliament, has become the focal point of frequent public protests against Greece's two-year austerity campaign.
"I find no other solution than a dignified end before I start searching through the trash for food" ...
Greece has seen an increase in suicides over the past two years of economic hardship, during which the country repeatedly teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.