In what likely reflects the growing desperation over the economic crisis in Greece, a man who lost his job at a Greek waste container factory has wounded two people and is holding two employees hostage in the northeastern part of the country.
The incident took place at the Hellenic Environmental Systems Industry (Helesi) factory in the town of Komotini.
Associated Press reported that the gunman, who was laid off eight months ago, trespassed into the factory with a weapon
BBC reported that the gunman injured the factory manager and another employee, both of whom were transported to a local hospital. Their lives are not in danger, according to reports.
Police have reportedly surrounded the factory and seek to negotiate with the gunman in an effort to free the hostages,
The two hostages are believed to be company drivers, according to AP.
Like many companies across Greece amidst the recession, Helesi has been cutting workers. According to Agence France Presse, the company has already fired about half of its former 300-strong workforce.
Greece, which is in the midst of a crippling financial crisis, is poised to receive another huge bailout from the European Union, which is demanding further spending cuts by the government.
Consequently, private companies have been shedding workers en masse. Last November, the unemployment rate in Greece reached a record high of 20.9 percent.
Regarding the extraordinarily high jobless rate, Nikos Magginas, a senior economist at the National Bank of Greece, told Reuters: The main reasons behind this deterioration… are the increased uncertainty over Greek economy's prospects, the prospect of additional austerity and a possible increase in the grey economy.
The jobless rate among Greek yourth (between the ages of 15 and 24) is almost 50 percent.