The attack against Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris was “shameless and unethical”, European Commission Spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Monday, during an address at the annual meeting of exporters of northern Greece.
Speaking at the general assembly of the Greek International Business Association (SEVE), Schinas expressed his support for Boutaris and said that the city has a place in history as a crossroads of cultures, and this quality will lead it to greatness still. “As someone following the European press, I don’t want to read what I saw the last few days: Thessaloniki becoming a European news item for the wrong reasons. I’d like Thessaloniki to bring good news to Europe and the world,” Schinas said.
Boutaris, 75, was attacked by nationalists during events to commemorate the genocide of Pontian Greeks during WWI. He was admitted to hospital for a check-in and released on Sunday morning. The attack was widely condemned by party leaders, the prime minister, fellow-mayors, professional associations, the Jewish community of Thessaloniki and the Embassy of Israel, among others.