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Far-right mob beats Thessaloniki mayor Yiannis Boutaris (videos)

Dozens of furious members of the far-right spectrum, an angry mob attacked mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, during an event  to commemorate the massacre of Pontus Greeks by Turkey in the beginning of 20th century.They kicked the 75-year-old mayor if when he fell on the ground. No arrest so far.

When the 75-year-old mayor approached the monument late Saturday afternoon, the crowd that had gathered for the commemoration event started to boo and verbally humiliate him. Some shouted at him “traitor” and soon the situation got out o control.

Dozens of men, the majority of them young, a mob, surrounded Boutaris, started to push him and even kicked him.

At some point,  the 75-year-old mayor lost his balance and fell on the ground.

Two of his people accompanied him away, with the fascists chasing him and trying to attack him again.

The mob kept on throwing water bottles, stones and other items at the mayor.

Boutaris was in shock.

The mob attacked his car while he was getting in, one young man is seen to kick the mayor.

Interesting is the absence of police at the event and during the attack. Only one of two security guards are spotted on the dozens of videos posted  on Greek internet.

Kalypso Gioula, the chairman of the city council who was accompanying the mayor said that the mob was beating and kicking Boutaris even when he was on the ground. “They wanted to harm him, they were beating him on the head, they even beat me and his police guards,” she said. Gioula pointed out at the absence of police and of organizers during the attack, “the mayor wa suprotected”.

Boutaris was taken to the hospital and was still there late Saturday night..

According to local media, seleo.gr, former local governor of Thessaloniki and founder of a nationalist party, Panagiotis Psomiadis, was giving an interview when when he heard the crowd booing Boutaris, he started to swear at him about his position on the Macedonia name issue.

“Look at him, he has sold Macedonia, this cholera,” Psomiadis said pointing at Boutaris, the crowd was shouting names at the mayor,  and the tension started.

Political world condemns the attack.

The Prime Minister’s office issued a statement saying “the attackers were neither indignant citizens nor a gathered crowd. They are simply far-right bullies who have to to be confronted ace immediately with the consequences of their actions. As long as political forces allow far-right marginal elements to hide behind a supposedly patriotic sentiment, the snake of fascism will directly threaten democracy.”

Main opposition party, New Democracy, condemned the attack in the most explicit way and said in a statement ” the perpetrators of today’s’ fascist attack by those who exploit the idea of motherland must be arrested immediately.”

Mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kamminis, condemned the attack with a post on Twitter.

7 minutes ago

Η φασιστική επίθεση στον Γιάννη Μπουτάρη δεν προκαλεί μόνο ντροπή. Προκαλεί ανησυχία γιατί το αβγό του λαϊκισμού και του εθνικισμού έσπασε και απειλεί ανοιχτά τη δημοκρατία και την κοινωνία. Όλοι στεκόμαστε στο πλευρό του Γιάννη, στο πλευρό της Δημοκρατίας.

The fascist attack at Yannis Boutaris does not causes only shame. It is causes concern because the egg of populism and nationalism is broken and openly threatens the democracy and the society. We all stand with Yannis Boutaris, we all stand with Democracy.

PS Authorities have plenty of footage and pictures to identify the attackers as dozens of videos have been posted on Greek internet. A black day for democracy.

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17 comments

  1. Sporting an ear ring, tattoos , with an anti-nationalist position claiming he’s ashamed to be Greek and the traitors and cowards in Athens condemn the protest. Lucky for him that he wasn’t killed.

  2. A even blacker day when a gay parade is chosen by boutaris to be held on the same day as Pontian genicide remembarsnce day to provoke and he arrives late and dishonours the memory of hundreds of thousands of our ancestors slaughtered by the Turks

  3. These and similar hooligans in Greece and other countries are the real threat to Europe’s future. Our countries need to be defended AGAINST such self-styled nationalists, NOT BY them.

    Let us see what the police and justice do in this present case.

  4. Where are your full names Simon and John? Are you afraid or ashamed?

  5. Afraid of what or whom ? You ?

    Do we need to fear you because we have a opinion now.

  6. “Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” Martin Luther King

  7. No John, there is no reason for you to fear me. I simply ask why you hide your full name, and this you have not answered.

    However you might have reason to fear the hooligans; they are not – as demonstrated by the event described above – tolerant of those of an opinion different from theirs. That is why they pose a threat to our freedoms.

  8. Hecataeus Miletuss

    Violence is never an option. When we have to resort to Violence to suppress free speech the game is over. I don’t agree with Mr. Boutaris but there must be a better, legal way to recall him from office. Why do people vote for this Mayor if he has such a widely held anti-Greek view according to many Greeks I know. Just vote for another candidate next time possibly? But, no one should ever stifle free speech they don’t agree with.

  9. The trouble is that the guy is blatantly provocative in an era of national humiliation and poverty, in which a major role has been played by our EU “partners” (Germans and the rest) and “allies” (US and Turkey). You cannot go on insulting an already deeply injured and wounded people and expect no reaction at all. One way or another some spark will cause fire. This is what happened and it is not going to stop. Greece has just been pushed too far!

  10. He disrespects the Macedonia and Macedonians, By stating “ anyone who says that Macedonia is Greek is uneducated and dumb”and of his pro Turkish stance and commenting about ataturk “I dint give a shit if he killed Greeks or whatever” then he would expect some reaction.

    Kicking a 75 year old man is low, however if you wish to offend the memories of thousands of Greeks then you are responsible for your words and actions. If somebody starts praising nazis in the middle of a Jewish suburb then he has to know that there will be a response, possibly a violent one. He refused to provide power to the the Macedonia rally from memory.

    Next time if your opinions are so offensive and you’re a public figure keep them to yourself and dont peddle then online or dint be a public figure.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Yes, he is an elected official and people voted for him for reasons you (who probably has no voting right in GR) disagree with. Where will we end up if citizens start punching and kicking every public person – independent of age – they disagree with?

  11. Given the mayor being out of touch with his constituents, I think it’s time a new election be held soon. Once Thessaloniki mayor Yiannis Boutaris has his health back let him defend his positions and policies in a new challenge followed by election. I read a little about Yiannis Boutaris. An interesting person as he wishes to include and acknowledge many historic populations of Thessaloniki, who now are minority peoples. However the majority of his constituents are ethnically Greek and Christian Orthodox. If he is not representing properly the interests of the cultural majority of Thessaloniki then this is a serious problem that needs dealing with. I think the mayor’s liberal agenda is out of touch with the people. Greeks are a traditional people who embrace the Christian Orthodox faith, having some of the highest church attendance rates in Europe. If the mayor wants gay parades and cultural diversity that conflicts with Greek values, this is not good for the Greek nation. If it is true he allowed a gay parade to occur on the same day as the Pontian Genocide Remembrance then I could understand the outrage aimed towards him. I read neither of the mayor’s parents lived in the borders of today’s Greece. Both are Vlach background, one came from Albania, the other Vardarska. Perhaps this person is a questionable Greek too since he speaks badly of them from what I read.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      gay pride is on June 20-something. so, you (who?) question Boutaris and seem to have little knowledge about how many Vlachs served Greece as politicians. In fact Boutaris is an alien from outer-space landed in a conservative Greek city. ops! Majority of Thessaloniki citizens even voted for him. Maybe you stop reading what you read?

  12. It is hardly surprising that this happened. After his comments, ““Χέστηκα αν σκότωσε Έλληνες… Ο Μουσταφά Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ” “”I don’t give a sh*t if he killed Greeks… Mustafa Kemal Atatürk” This was spoken on a TV Chanel in English by him. This was the reason he was “attacked” Sorry but in my opinion he should learn to keep his personal opinions to himself and thereby avoiding such confrontations.

  13. Anti Greek. He was responsible for.his actions even.though violence is.wrong

    He must be taken to justice for condemning the memory of thousands of dead women children and elders. Not given any national.ID and leave the country.

  14. No matter what name FYROM finally receives it will change little in the long run. Are people going to die because of the choice of a name? FYROM and Turkey didn’t leave Greece in its present situation, the EU did! Brussels is the real enemy of Greece. All this diversion and violence is great for the EU politicians and Banksters. The worse things get the more money they make. The EU must be dismanteled ASAP. More power to Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and to Brexit voters.