Yiannis Boutaris

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Yiannis Boutaris is a Greek businessman, winemaker and Mayor of Thessaloniki.

Boutaris was born on January 6, 1942 in Thessaloniki, the son of winemaker Stelios Boutaris and great-great-grandson of Ioannis Boutaris who fought during the Macedonia uprising against the Turks in 1866.

He holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Thessaloniki and a diploma for wine making.

Boutaris entered public life in 2002 as a candidate for the City Council of Thessaloniki. In 2006, he stood for Mayor gathering 16% of the vote in the first round.

On November 14, 2010, Boutaris was elected mayor, defeating his conservative opponent, Kostas Gioulekas, by just 309 votes in the second round. The final count was 52,191 votes for Boutaris against 51,882 for Gioulekas.

Boutaris has announced bold ideas for the future of the city of Thessaloniki. He hopes to build a mosque, a crematorium, a memorial to the Jews of the city and a memorial to the Young Turk revolution. He even went so far as to announce his plan for renaming a street in honour of Kemal Ataturk.

No stranger to controversy, Boutaris travelled to Bulgaria to have his wife cremated instead of giving her a Christian burial in Greece. He has also locked horns with local Metropolitan Anthimus, calling him a "mujahedeen" who constantly changes clothes instead of giving alms to the poor.

On May 20, 2018, Boutaris was attacked and beaten up at a Pontian remembrance service. His attackers were angered, among other things, for his statement "I don't give a sh*t if Kemal killed some Greeks over there".

Preceded by:
Vasilis Papageorgopoulos
Mayor of Thessaloniki
2011 - present
Succeeded by: