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Nationalist extremists attack Greek mayor on camera

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By Mark Armstrong
Nationalist extremists attack Greek mayor on camera

The mayor of Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, has been taken to hospital with head, back and leg injuries after being attacked by people thought to be nationalist extremists.

Giannis Boutaris was attending a ceremony to commemorate the so-called Pontic Genocide, the massacre of ethnic Greeks by the Turks during World War I and the subsequent Greek-Turkish war.

“They were hitting me everywhere. Kicks, punches, the lot,” Boutaris, 75, who is known for his strong anti-nationalist stance, said on Sunday. “It was a despicable attack, but I am well.”

Greek police said on Sunday they were close to identifying one of the suspects involved in the assault.

The country’s mainstream parties condemned the incident with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipris calling the attackers far-right thugs.

Israel’s embassy in Greece also condemned the assault, wishing Boutaris a speedy recovery

Eye-witnesses said some attackers smashed the windows of the mayor's car as it drove away.