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Civil servant attempted suicide

15 February 2012 / 20:02:04  GRReporter
2463 reads

Victoria Mindova

Shortly before noon today, a woman and a man went to the window on the third floor of the workers’ organization on Solomou street intending to commit suicide. They are a family and civil servants in the public worker’s organization, which is to be closed after the introduction of the new Memorandum of financial assistance. They come from the town of Preveza and are the parents of a child with severe chronic liver disease. Five years ago, they managed to get an appointment in the capital to be able to take advantage of the best specialists in the specific disease.

"Their child is constantly in and out of hospitals. They sold all their property in Preveza in order to pay for the treatment of their child. The drugs and the treatment cost three thousand euro a month and I know that they have big loans to secure the necessary medical care for the sick child," Karakatsanis - a representative of organization - told GRReporter exclusively. He said the woman's name is Hara (which means joy in Greek) and she is 35, and her husband Spiros is 45 years old. Both were civil servants at the loan department to the organization.

Police officers, the fire brigade and psychologists from the regional department of the interior arrived at the scene immediately. Those negotiating with both spouses persuaded the husband to come down from the edge of the building shortly after they had come. Hara, however, did not want to hear the voices of psychologists. One could see her crying and wiping her tears on the sleeves of her black sweater from Patission Avenue. Firefighters laid down an inflatable safety mattress beneath, which was centred below the balcony, on which the young woman was sitting, her legs hanging down.

Karakatsanis, who is the head of the finance department of the service, described Hara as a quiet woman, but subject to severe tension. "The problem with their child is very serious and the disease is rare and difficult to treat. They were constantly running from hospital to hospital and doctors and everyone in the office knew that they were struggling with a severe life-threatening situation, but nobody expected that this would happen."

Two hours and a half after the incident, the woman was getting nervous. She stood up, still crying. A housewife went out on the balcony of the adjacent building and tried to calm her. Fire fighters stretched another safety mattress. Hara sat on the windowsill again, but refused to enter the building.

The police had closed the region around the administrative building and flows of people, journalists and television cameras had gathered on the corner of Patision Avenue and Solomou Street. Some passers-by hurried to pass by, others stopped. At half past three, a middle-aged woman stopped and began calling the people in the street to shout in one voice "I love you" to inspire Hara with hope. After much of persistence, a man approached her and said, "If it were that easy, she would not be on the balcony now." Another elderly woman asked, "Won’t a minister come here to talk to the poor woman to convince her not to do foolish things?". In response to this proposal, a group of people spontaneously responded, apparently amused, "She will certainly jump then!"

The police chief responsible for the area asked the people to disperse, but failed. A police cordon separated the journalists following Hara’s actions from ordinary observers. At half past four, the woman was exhausted and fire fighters rushed to bring her inside the building and the danger passed.

Tags: SocietyCrisisSuicideGreece
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