News Summary: Portrait of civic erosion in Greece
SINGLE DEATH IS A TRAGEDY: The slaying of a 54-year-old pharmacist this week for some is a signal of Greece's fall. A statement by the Greater Athens pharmacists' association said the killing reflected an "unprecedented" situation in Greece and "proves that our society is in a state of collapse." Certainly, a single death cannot signal the beginning of an end to the nation that long ago delivered logic, justice and geometry to the world. But cracks have begun to appear.
THE STATISTICS: There is a marked deterioration in law-and-order as the economic crisis strangles Greece. The Public Order Ministry reported an increase in nearly all categories of crime between 2010 and 2011, with murder up 5 percent and armed robberies in occupied homes up 110 percent. Greece's Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 954 new HIV infections in 2011, a 57 percent increase from the previous year. It attributes most of the rise to drug use. State-funded health and relief agencies say the rates of suicide, drug dependency and depression have all broadly risen by 20 percent to 25 percent since the financial crisis hit in late 2009.
STREETVIEW: The death of pharmacist Spyros Poukamisas and symptoms of a society in distress are often not fully encapsulated in words, such "austerity" and "belt tightening," often used to describe what is being asked of countries in distress.