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Greek suicides are up 27%. These charts explain why

Matt Phillips

The pain in Greece continues. The latest update is a troubling 26.5% rise in suicides in Greece in 2011, according to the latest numbers published by the Hellenic Statistical Agency. Here’s a look at the numbers.

The Wall Street Journal’s Marcus Walker wrote a striking piece (paywall) about the phenomenon a couple years back, though the official data for 2011 was just released. There is no great mystery here. The economic and human cost of Greece’s merciless recession is staggering.

Unemployment has surged to nearly 27%…

…and you can see how volatile Greece’s economy has been over the last decade or so. In real terms, since its peak in early 2008, more than a quarter of the Greek economy has been destroyed, making its recession worse than the one that eventually resulted in the collapse of Weimar Germany.

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