There is something that is equally heinous as violence. It is justifying violence, its toleration by society, and the inertia of the state.

In Thessaloniki, where 55 years ago this time of year the extreme right deep state murdered left-wing doctor and MP Grigoris Lambrakis, we bore witness to multiple levels of violence.

Mayor Yannis Boutaris was the victim of a barbarous and cowardly attack by extreme-right elements. Then, he fell prey to a new, verbal attack from individuals who were once leading figures in public life.

The police proved unable to protect him, and they were unable to mobilise in the timeframe required by such a serious incident.

It remains to be seen how civil society will react, and whether one will hear the cry “enough is enough”, which unfortunately was not heard when other acts of violence – from the beatings of politicians, trade unionists and foreign diplomats, to the arson attack that killed three people at Marfin Bank – harmed the country.

The time has come for the condemnations by the political establishment to be transformed into action. Political violence has no place in Greek society, or in any democracy. Toleration of violence, from whatever quarter it may derive, must stop now.

Let that be taken into account by the political forces which once justified violence in the name of just rage, and which now are protected by steel-enforced riot police buses.

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