Alexis Tsipras at risk from fallout over Macedonia name deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a confidence vote scheduled for Wednesday

Earlier, Greece's right-wing defence minister resigned in protest at a deal ending a long running dispute with Macedonia over its name, saying he was taking his other six ministers in cabinet with him. Greece will hold parliamentary elections in October.

The left-right governing coalition held an nearly impossibly thin majority of 153 seats in the 300-member parliament, with seven of those seats allocated to the ANEL party which is expected to disappear in the next Greek elections that must be held sometime before October.

Parliamentary speaker Talad Xhaferi said 81 MPs voted in favour of the name change in the 120-seat chamber, securing the required two-thirds majority.

His Syriza party has 145 seats in the 300-seat parliament and Mr Kammenos has called on his Independent Greeks party, which has seven, to vote against the government.

The impact of the resignation on the governing coalition was not immediately clear.

ANEL leader Kammenos has long promised to reject the Prespes Agreement but several of his MPs have said publicly they will support it, generating new internal break-up scenarios each day.

ANEL is the junior party in Greece's ruling coalition and strongly opposes the name change, a rift that threatens to destabilise the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who helped broker the deal.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's political future is on the line this week after a coalition breakdown prompted him to call a confidence vote in parliament, raising the risk of an early election. Kammenos said he would not support Tsipras in the vote.

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Tsipras said he had a "frank discussion" with Kammenos, whom he thanked for his government partnership, and announced that Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will become the country's new defence minister.

"Our parliament found the strength but it wasn't easy. Last year, the alliance invited Macedonia into its ranks, the European Union is ready to start accession negotiations in mid 2019 - in both cases, under the condition that the agreement with Greece is implemented", the daily writes. "But I am convinced that the Greek parliament will also find the strength to make the decision", Zaev told a press conference in Skopje.

The dispute, which has raged since it voted for independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, is blocking Macedonia's hopes of joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.

"Within 10 days... if we see everything is in order, we will vote", Tsipras said on Friday evening.

Fearing Macedonia would try to annex Greek Macedonia, the Greece Government refused to accept the new country's name, and faced the United Nation to refer to it as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

The main opposition, the conservative New Democracy party, which is leading pre-election polls, has said it will block the deal.

For many Greeks, Macedonia is the name of a history-rich northern province that was the cradle of Alexander the Great's ancient empire.

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