The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on November 8, 1912.
Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, National Geographic Magazine included Thessaloniki in its top tourist destinations worldwide, while in 2014 Financial Times FDI magazine (Foreign Direct Investments) declared Thessaloniki as the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle. Among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is also considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece.
The municipality of Thessaloniki (Greek: Δήμος Θεσαλονίκης) is the second most populous in Greece, after Athens, with a resident population of 325,182 (in 2011) and an area of 19.307 square kilometres (7.454 square miles), includes the municipal unit of Triandria. The municipality forms the core of the Thessaloniki Urban Area, with its central district (the city center), referred to as the Kentro, meaning ‘center’ or ‘downtown’.
The institution of mayor of Thessaloniki was inaugurated under the Ottoman Empire, in 1912. The first mayor of Thessaloniki was Osman Sait Bey, while the current mayor of the municipality of Thessaloniki is Yiannis Boutaris. In 2011, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a budget of €464.33 million while the budget of 2012 stands at €409.00 million.
According to an article in The New York Times, the way in which the present mayor of Thessaloniki is treating the city’s debt and oversized administration problems could be used as an example by Greece’s central government for a successful strategy in dealing with these problems.
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