Boutaris threatens to boycott Thessaloniki parade over GD invitation

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris has threatened not to attend Monday’s military parade, marking Greece’s entry into the Second World War, after the head of the regional authority invited Golden Dawn MPs to join other dignitaries.

“The stance taken by the Central Macedonia Regional Authority is unacceptable,” said Boutaris on Saturday after Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzicostas invited the extremist lawmakers to watch the military parade with other officials.

“I don’t know if this can be rectified. I will think about it long and hard if I will go to the same podium as these gentlemen,” added Boutaris.

Tzitzicostas said he would not “take lessons” from Boutaris, whose Arctouros bear sanctuary accepted a donation from Golden Dawn but later returned the money.

The Central Macedonia governor also suggested that Boutaris was more interested in supporting the Gay Pride parade in Thessaloniki than the military parade.

This year will be the first time for three years that armored vehicles and airplanes will take part in the event. Previously, they had not been present in order to keep costs down.