Greek foreign minister resigns, prime minister takes over

Greek FM Nikos Kotzias

Nikos Kotzias, Greek Foreign Minister, resigned today after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras allegedly failed to support him in a clash with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the Prespes accord with Macedonia, Kathimerini reports.

The prime minister stressed that he "will not tolerate double talk and self-serving strategies" and added: "I chose to take up the foreign ministry for the time being and the responsibility that comes with it, sending a message at the same time that this decision signifies my determination to do whatever possible to guarantee the successful conclusion of the historical agreement of Prespes". But the support is crucial for Tsipras.

Tsipras said of assuming the foreign minister role: "It is a decision not to tolerate, from now on, any double-speak from anyone, or any personal agenda in the national line of the country".

Head of the nationalist Independent Greeks party, Kammenos has repeatedly threatened to defect from the government if the deal is put to a vote in Greece's parliament.

After his top diplomat's resignation, Tsipras said Greece would "never" allow Macedonia to join the European Union or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation under its current name.

Tzanakopoulos said Tuesday's cabinet meeting involved "an open political discussion" on Kammenos' disagreement with the name deal.

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Now everything is in the hands of Alexis Tsipras, who, as the Prime Minister of Greece and President of the Government has to cut the Gordian knot causing an imbroglio within the government while also complicating the relations of SYRIZA's partners in governing the governing.

Apparently, the PM's balanced distance from bothe the Defence minister who opposes the Prespa Agreement and the initiator and creator of it, the Greek FM seem to have caused the dissatisfaction of Nikos Kotzias (i.e. the latter).

Since the independence of its small neighbor in 1991, Greece believes that the name "Macedonia" can only be applied to its northern province around Thessaloniki. "And the quicker this farce ends, the better", New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

The Macedonian parliament is now being discussed by this agreement before it is considered by the Greek parliament.

"I think it's now abundantly clear Mr Tsipras is not just a weak prime minister, but a prime minister being blackmailed".

The deal is in limbo after the referendum at the end of September (30 Sept) in FYROM when less than the minimum required turned out to make it valid.



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