Boutaris says he was attacked by ‘organized fascists’

Boutaris says he was attacked by ‘organized fascists’

Thessaloniki mayor Yannis Boutaris on Monday described those who attacked him during an event on Saturday commemorating the massacre of Pontian Greeks by Turks during World War I as "organized fascists." 

Boutaris was briefly hospitalized after being thrown to the ground, kicked and punched by about 12 people.

"The people who attacked me had nothing to do with the Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance Day. I know who they are. It was organized fascists who attacked me as a person and as a mayor," he told a packed municipal council meeting, the first after the attack.

"Thessaloniki must become the most democratic city in the world. Whoever doesn't agree with us can vote us out in October 2019. In elections though. Neither by use of force, nor with bravado," he continued.

"There can be no other way. Because tomorrow it will be someone else in my place. Somebody who will be beaten up for his ideas, his religion, his different sexual orientation, for the color of his skin."

Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis and the head of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office in Thessaloniki, Katerina Notopoulou, attended the meeting.

Judicial authorities have charged four suspects, aged between 17 and 36, of grievous bodily harm and breach of the peace over the incident in an ongoing investigation.

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