THESSALONIKI – Nationalist extremists have the mayor of the Northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Giannis Boutaris, verbally and physically attacked. He was slightly wounded. ,,What I have witnessed is a nightmare”, said Boutaris against Greek media Sunday.
Mayor Boutaris was kicked and beaten.
Television and news websites showed videos of the incident that Saturday night in January. Boutaris, considered to be one of the most progressive mayors of Greece, was able to escape and prevented worse.
The government and all the Greek parties, with the exception of the right-wing extremist Golden Dawn, condemning the attack. ,,The attackers were right-wing extremist criminals,” said a statement from the office of the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. ,,The police will find them and the judiciary will make them accountable.”
The mayor took part in a memorial service for Greeks who at the beginning of the last century by Ottoman militiamen in the Black sea Region were killed or driven out. Traditionally take the nationalists also took part in these celebrations. Some right-wing extremists started Boutaris to insult,he was kicked and bottles and other objects were in his direction thrown. The mayor fell to the ground, but he managed to escape with the help of a policeman and two of his companions.
Boutaris calls for a relaxation in the relations with neighbouring Turkey and for the rights of homosexuals and minorities. He emphasized always the multicultural character of his city, where in the previous century, many Jews, Greeks and Turks lived together.