Police in Greece have arrested four people as suspects in a violent mob attack that left the mayor of Thessaloniki hospitalized.
About a dozen people set upon Mayor Yiannis Boutaris at a Saturday ceremony honoring Greek victims of the Pontian Genocide. He was thrown to the ground and kicked all over his body.
Two of his aides helped his escape, while the mob continued to chase and tried to attack him again. They were throwing water bottles, stones and other items at the mayor.
“It was a nightmare,” said a clearly shocked Boutaris after the attack. “There were several people that attacked me. They were hitting me everywhere”.
Police said the suspects are three Greek men aged between 17 and 20 and a 36-year-old ethnic Greek from Georgia who has a prior criminal record in this country.
They are looking for more suspects.
The Greek government blamed the beating on “extreme-right thugs.” Boutaris is reviled by extreme nationalists.