May 20 2018

Angry mob beats anti-nationalist Thessaloniki mayor

The mayor Thessaloniki, an anti-nationalist known for his statements on establishing closer relations with Turkey, has been treated in hospital after being beaten up by about a dozen people, the BBC reported.

The 75-year-old mayor of Greece’s second largest city, Yiannis Boutaris,  was kicked in the head and legs and beaten with bottles by a group of nationalists in reaction to his appearance at an event commemorating the massacre of Black Sea Greeks in Turkey during and after the first world war,  BBC said.

Politicians have condemned the attack against the mayor. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras released a statement calling the attackers "far-right bullies who have to face the consequences of their actions."

A group of people approached the mayor, demanding he leave a flag-lowering ceremony in Thessaloniki on Saturday to mark what is known in Greece as the "Pontic Genocide", the BBC quoted Thessaloniki city council president Calypso Goula as saying.

Several men threw bottles at Boutaris, kicking the mayor in the head and legs after he had fallen down.

Boutaris has angered many in Greece with his unpopular comments on Macedonia, Turkey and Israel. The mayor once called Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish state and hated in Greece, a “great leader”.