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OPINION

Austerity drives up suicide rate in debt-ridden Greece

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When Apostolos Polyzonis's bank refused to see him last September, the 55-year-old Greek businessman had just 10 euros ($13) in his pocket. Out of work and bankrupt, he thought all he could do with his remaining money was to buy a gas can.

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Desperate and angry, Polyzonis stood outside the bank in central Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, doused himself in fuel and surrendered to the flames.

"At that moment, I saw my life as worthless, I really didn't care if I was going to live or die," recalls Polyzonis, who says he was hit by financial troubles after the bank recalled a loan given to him for his business.

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