Responding to the stated opposition of the Orthodox Church of Greece to the government accepting a FYROM name solution with any use of the word Macedonia, Centrist To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis, lashed out at the Church.
“The church has no right to express an opinion on political issues,” Theodorakis, a former journalist, told Thema FM radio.
“They gather in a body and say that the Church does not want a solution. Can the cabinet decide what the Church will say?” Theoedoraksi asked rhetorically.
The liberal, centrist party is in effect challenging the right of a social corporate body, the Church of Greece in this case, to exercise its freedom of speech.
Theodorakis expressed his party’s support for the use of the word Macedonia in any settlement of the decades long name dispute between Athens and Skopje, on condition that the use of the new, compound name, which he said should include a geographic marker, must be used by everyone.
At the same time he expressed his opposition to Skopje’s longstanding irredentist policies.
Attack on Kammenos
Theodorakis also staunchly criticised the hard-line position of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, on the FYROM naming issue.
Theodorakis charged that Kammenos is an “a la carte politician who tends to his narrow political interests and sacrifices the national interest for personal gain”.
On Potami-Pasok-ND collaboration
Regarding the collaboration of To Potami and Pasok under the umbrella of the newly founded Movement for Change, led by Pasok President Fofi Gennimata, Theodorakis appeared not to rule out a post-electoral cooperation with main opposition New Democracy, based on policy convergence.
“To Potami says five things, and Pasok another five. We will find the five specific, important issues that concern the country, and we shall move forward,” Theodorakis said.
“I am not certain that we agree on everything with New Democracy, because it remains a deeply conservative party, but we must urgently solve problems. The Movement for Change will take a stand on a handful of issues, and our post-electoral moves will be based on those,” he noted