Demonstrators Clash with Police over Suicide Protest

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Protesters gather in front of the Greek Parliament, where a retired pharmacist publicly committed suicide on Wednesday.

They're upset over the squeeze the government's austerity measures are having on Greek society.

[Loukas Papadimos, Greek Prime Minister]:
"It is tragic that a fellow citizen ended his life. In these hard times for our society we must all support and care for people in despair."

A police force outnumbering the group of protesters gathers at the scene to control the crowd.

But tempers boil over and a riot breaks out. Riot police disperse the protesters using physical force.

Among them were reporters as well.

The President of the Greek Photo-Reporter Association was struck in the head by a police officer and sustained minor injuries.

The clashes subsided after about an hour.

Wednesday's public suicide has shaken up the Greek political scene, as well.

[Giorgos Karatzaferis, President of political party LAOS]:
"The bullet from that pistol, that morning in the center of Athens, hit directly the conscience of the political world. It's not only the fact that one man died. We must all feel that we are, at that moment, at the trigger of the gun."

[Panos Kammenos, president of political party Independent Greeks]:
"It should have been those politicians that drove this country in its financial situation that should have committed suicide and not that man."

Vladimir Alexantrof,
NTD News Athens, Greece

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