Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was in Thessaloniki on Friday, where he met with the northern port city’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris, less that a week after the latter was attacked by a mob of far-right nationalists during an event marking a historical anniversary.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” the leftist prime minister told the 75-year-old city official as he entered City Hall.
“You symbolize an entire democratic progressive front that stands against the darkness and this is the fight you need to fight,” Tsipras told Boutaris.
For his part, Boutaris – who was harassed, pushed to the ground, kicked and punched last Saturday by an angry mob at an event marking the Turkish massacre of ethnic Greeks in World War I – asked Tsipras to put forward a request to Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas for measures against hate speech and incitement of violence on social media.
Coming out of the meeting Tsipras told reporters that “the attack on Yiannis Boutaris was organized and planned.”
“The Thessaloniki mayor attends this particular commemoration every year and this time there was a plan to attack him,” he said.
“I encouraged Boutaris to step forward and lead a democratic front,” the prime minister added, without making further clarification.