This is the transcript of a “Reporter’s notebook” piece I did for BBC Radio Scotland’s “Good Morning Scotland” programme that was broadcast on Saturday 4 October 2014.
Like thousands of citizens, Nikolas Elliniadis had left it to deadline day to go to his bank, in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, to pay the first of six instalments of Greece’s new property tax, the latest levy to hit a population beleaguered after five years of austerity.
Finding a long queue, the 70-year-old pensioner took a number, sat down and prepared himself for a long wait in the crowded room as flustered officials tried to process a last-minute deluge of property tax remittances.
In many cases, these were being paid with pensions that had been distributed only the day before.
An hour and a half later, after saying he wasn’t feeling well, Elliniadis collapsed.
He was having a heart attack. Although his fellow customers and the emergency services did what they could, he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.