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|Mayor of Thessaloniki|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2011
|Preceded by||Vasilis Papageorgopoulos|
|Born||June 13, 1942|
Thessaloniki, German occupation zone of Greece
|Alma mater||University of Thessaloniki|
Wine Institute of Athens
Yiannis Boutaris was born in Thessaloniki in 1942, the son of winemaker Stelios Boutaris and Fanny Vlachos. Both his parents were from Vlach background. His mother's family has its roots in the town of Kruševo, now in North Macedonia, while his father's family originates from the town of Moscopole, now in Albania.
His primary education was at the Experimental elementary school of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, his secondary education at Anatolia College, and he graduated in chemistry from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1965 and in oenology from the Wine Institute of Athens in 1967. In his youth he was associated with the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
From 1969 to 1996 he worked for the family wine company Boutari, based in Naoussa. He left the family company to create the Kir-Yianni wine company, based on two estates in abandoned village of Giannakochori and in Amyntaio, in 1998.
Boutaris has spoken several times openly about his struggle with alcoholism and his successful effort to quit drinking back in 1991. He is also a supporter of LGBT rights and the legalization of cannabis.
In 2012 he was chosen as 'the best mayor of the world' for the month of October, by the City Mayors Foundation, based in the UK.
Boutaris also declared his wish to build an Islamic mosque, monuments to Thessaloniki's Jews and to the Young Turk Revolution. According to Boutaris, the construction of these monuments will attract Jewish and Turkish tourists to Thessaloniki, who will want to visit their fathers' hometown. As a result of Boutaris' systematic efforts to attract tourists to Thessaloniki by showing the multicultural past of the city for three years from 2010 to 2013, visitors to the city from many countries, among them Israel and Turkey, increased impressively. Before Mayor Boutaris came into office in 2010 the sleepovers of foreign tourists in the city of Thessaloniki were around 250.000. In 2018 the sleepovers of foreign tourists is estimated to reach 3.000.000. As a result, it is estimated that due to the efforts of the Mayor to make Thessaloniki a popular touristic destination, thousands of jobs were created in the greater Thessaloniki area.
On May 20, 2018 he was treated in hospital after being beaten up by a group of Greek ultra-nationalists angry over his appearance at a remembrance event for the Pontic Greek victims of Turkish genocide. The hardliners claimed that Boutaris made a controversial remark on the issue ("I don't give a sh**" if Kemal Atatürk killed Greeks or not"). Boutaris has repeatedly angered hardliners in Greece because he tried to facilitate relations between Greece and its neighbors and because he opposed nationalist views on the Macedonia naming dispute, the history of the Greco–Turkish relations and the Holocaust of the Jews in Greece.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yannis Boutaris.|
| Mayor of Thessaloniki
Movie "One Step Ahead" (2012) "Ena vima brosta" (original title) Directed by Dimitris Athyridis in 2012.