A protest against the government’s attitude toward the Pontic community was marred by an attack on New Democracy MP Giorgos Koumoutsakos.
A group of people that had been attached to the Pontian and other protesters outside the Greek parliament suddenly attacked the Greek MP.
The Panpontic Federation of Greece (PEO) had organized the protest in response to Greek Education Minister Nikos Filis’s denial of the Pontic genocide as well as revelations that the genocide was no longer included in the curriculum of 12th graders in Greek high schools.
A large number of people responded to the POE’s call and came to Syntagma Square to protest. However, tensions flared when a group of protesters attacked Koumoutsakos who was present, initially with verbal insults, and then physically, as he was passing by the tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Greek parliament.
Video from the incident shows the perpetrators pushing and punching Koumoutsakos, and then chasing as the police was standing by without intervening.
There have not been any detentions or arrests reported yet.
Koumoutsakos addressed the attack in the Greek parliament with bruises on his face and accused the perpetrators of being Golden Dawn supporters. He also accused Education Minister Nikos Filis “for being the moral culprit for the incident due to his inflammatory remarks on the Pontic Genocide.”
Filis expressed his sympathy for Koumoutsakos’s attack, but denied the accusations that his remarks helped plan the seeds for this attack.
The PEO’s president criticized the attack on Koumoutsakos immediately after it happened and clarified that the perpetrators are not associated with the PEO.