Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm
By Lauren Frayer
A broker sits in the stock exchange in Madrid. Worries about Spain's finances intensified last week as the country's bond yields rose on international markets, making it more expensive for Spain to borrow money.
After a financial bailout earlier this year, fees in Portugal's health system have risen substantially. As a result, nongovernmental organizations say, the poor and elderly in Western Europe's poorest country can no longer afford essential care. Some Portuguese fear that austerity measures are threatening not only their livelihoods, but their lives.
Alfredo Silva, 67, showed up at an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon last month dressed as a skeleton. He says the costume shows the effect of Portugal's $100 billion bailout on retirees like him.
Demonstrators clashed with riot police in Athens overnight.
Credit Aris Messinis / AFP/Getty Images
The human toll from the financial crisis in Greece now has a human face.
After 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas killed himself Wednesday outside the parliament building in Athens, a suicide note he left was reported to say that he felt he must take a "dignified end to my life" because austerity measures and "annihilated all traces for my survival," particularly his pension.