Political parties across the spectrum (Golden Dawn excluded) unequivocally condemned the physical attack against the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris on Saturday, during a ceremony commemorating the genocide of the Pontic Greeks by the Ottoman empire.
The Mayor was initially verbally abused by a portion of the crowd at Thessaloniki before some of the attendants at the event started kicking and punching him, while others hurled objects at him. His personal security whisked him away hurriedly to his car, amid chaos as some people continued kicking him. When he reached his car and some of those pursuing him smashed his vehicle’s back window as it drove off to safety.
The Greek government condemned the attack, dubbing the attackers “extreme right thugs”, while major opposition party New Democracy (ND) called the attack “fascist” and the perpetrators “hyper-nationalists”. The leader of the party “Movement of Change”, Fofi Gennimata called the attackers “modern-day Kotzamanides” (a term referring to the right-wing killer of left-wing MP Grigoris Lambrakis, Spyros Kotzamanis). Extreme right party Golden Dawn (GD) lauded the attackers calling them “cool”.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Thessaloniki was discharged from hospital on Sunday morning where he was taken after feeling sick following the attack. Mr Boutaris dubbed what he went through as a “nightmare”. “They were hitting me all over my body”, he told the press.