Greece’s harsh austerity program may have caused coalitions to crumble and brought people out on the streets in protest, but a new study has found a more human cost of the debt crisis – cuts and reforms in the country have caused a “dramatic rise” in male suicides.
Research conducted at the University of Portsmouth found that for every one percent drop in in Greek government spending, there was a 0.43 percent rise in male suicides.
The study, by Dr Nikolaos Antonakakis and Professor Alan Collins and published in the Social Science and Medicine journal, argued that there was a direct link between the suicides of 551 Greek men between 2009 and 2010 and the country’s austerity cuts and reforms.
Greece received its first bailout of 110 billion euros in 2010 when it could no longer afford to pay down its debts. For the Greek government to receive the payouts and assistance from its fellow euro countries, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, it had to agree to tough spending cuts and reform programs. These measures put the brakes on the Greek economy, causing a deep recession and high unemployment.
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