Financial crisis drives up Greek suicide rate

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek aid group says suicides have increased by 45 percent during the first four years of Greece’s financial crisis, and warned there are indications of a further “very large rise” in the past two years.

The Athens-based group Klimaka said Tuesday that officially reported suicides rose steadily between 2007 and 2011, accounting for an annual jump in deaths from 328 to 477 in that period, according to data from the Greek Statistical Authority.

The group said, based on its own research, the number of suicides has continued to rise through 2012 and 2013.

Greece still has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, but a dramatic rise in poverty and unemployment since the debt-strapped nation began imposing harsh austerity measures has been blamed for the increase in deaths.

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