Business leaders on Crete are considering setting up a special counseling unit to assist local entrepreneurs following the suicide of a local olive oil exporter, the latest in a string of such deaths on the island.
At least 20 suicides have been recorded on Crete over the last 12 months, several of which involved local businessmen who had run into financial difficulties. The latest Cretan to commit suicide was a 66-year-old olive oil exporter who shot himself with a hunting rifle. Authorities suspect his mounting debts caused him to take his own life.
“We are prepared to work with the local doctors’ association to create a structure that could offer psychological support to local businessmen who are going through difficulties,” the head of the Hania Chamber of Commerce, Yiannis Margaronis, told Kathimerini.
Greece saw a rise in suicides last year. Official statistics are not yet available but police recorded 511 suicides in 2011, compared to an average of about 400 for previous years. Nongovernmental organization Klimaka said that the number of calls to its helpline doubled to some 5,000 last year.