Violent protests erupted in Athens after a Greek retiree committed suicide on Wednesday morning over the hard-hitting austerity measures by the government.

A 77–year–old pharmacist shot himself in the head at a crowded subway on Syntagma Square in Athens.

"I find no other solution than a dignified end before I start searching through the trash for food," read the suicide note handed over to the police by his daughter.

Later in the day, up to 1,500 people clashed with the police hurled stones and petrol bombs outside the parliament.

"It was a murder, not a suicide, austerity kills," read the written messages pinned on the tree under which the man shot himself dead.

Take a look at the violent clashes following the suicide:

A protester throws a stone at policemen during riots at central Syntagma square in Athens April 4, 2012.Reuters
Candles commemorating the death of a pensioner are placed in front of the parliament in Athens.Reuters
Policemen stand guard outside the entrance of Grande Bretagne hotel during riots at central Syntagma square in AthensReuters
Policemen stand guard during a rally in front of the parliament in AthensReuters
Mourners place flowers and candles at the spot where a man committed suicide at central Syntagma square in AthensReuters
An Orthodox priest holds a religious ceremony at the spot where a man commited suicide at central Syntagma square in Athens.Reuters
Mourners place notes at the spot where a man committed suicide at central Syntagma square in Athens.Reuters
An Orthodox priest holds a religious ceremony at the spot where a man committed suicide at central Syntagma square in AthensReuters
Policemen run in front of the entrance of Grande Bretagne hotel during riots at central Syntagma square in Athens.Reuters