Reading Sample 15- ECONOMIC PROBLEMS LINKED TO RISE IN SUICIDES (B1/B2)

Europe's Economic Problems Linked to Rise in Suicides

            A study says more people are killing themselves in Greece than other countries affected by economic troubles in Europe. The countries that have been more severely affected have experienced greater rises in suicides -- Ireland, Spain, the Baltics -- reaching up to sixteen percent in some of the worst affected countries, like Greece.

           The study looked at reports from ten European countries from two thousand seven and two thousand nine. Nine of the ten countries had a five percent increase in suicide rates between two thousand seven and two thousand nine. In Ireland, the increase was thirteen percent.

            The study found that suicide rates have not increased in countries where governments have helped get people back to work. Examples include Sweden and Finland. It is also added that just giving money to people who have lost jobs to replace their income did not appear to help. Instead, giving people a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a hope in terms of searching for a good, meaningful job seemed to be the most beneficial to helping people cope.”

            Greece is suffering the costs of a huge budget deficit. For over a year, the government has cut spending and increased taxes in an effort to improve its finances.  Pavlos Tsimas, a journalist based in Greece recently made a documentary about the increase in suicides.   "We investigated the case of a small businessman from Herakleion in Crete, who took his car, loaded it with tins of petrol, and first shot himself and then put fire to the whole car." He adds that some people commit suicide in a public way, like the businessman in Crete.  "We found out that people killed themselves in a very dramatic and sometimes a very violent way, which maybe means that they are trying to make their suicide a statement, want the whole world to understand how badly they feel, how hopeless they have felt."

          The number of men committing suicide has gone up mostly on the island of Crete where social and family life is more traditional, more patriarchic. The father of the family has to be respected as a figure of great strength. And when the economic problems arise, when jobs are lost and businesses are closed down, it is this despair because of the loss of respect, the loss of self-esteem, and the fact that the person feels that his life no longer has meaning, that drives them to this kind of act.

 1- What is not mentioned related to the survey in this text?

  1. The number of countries where the study was conducted
  2. The number of participants 
  3. The number of men and women participated in this study
  4. The limited time the study focused on

2- What did governments essentially achieve by helping get people back to work?

3- Some people committed suicide in public area because __________________

4- What is the purpose of the writer in the last paragraph?

 

Click here to Show / Hide Answers.

1. c

2. Giving people a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a hope in terms of searching for a good, meaningful job seemed to be the most beneficial to helping people cope.

3. They tried to make their suicide a statement, wanted the whole world to understand how badly they feel and how hopeless they were feeling.

4. The role of men in patriarchic society and how psychologically men are affected.

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