Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ junior coalition partner and defence minister, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, has vowed abiding allegiance to the PM’s government, while categorically rejecting once again Tsipras’ and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ pursuit of a composite name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with a qualifier attached to the name Macedonia.
Kammenos’ remarks came after an emergency joint meeting of his parliamentary group and the party’s Executive Committee today, which he said unanimously agreed that no derivative of the name Macedonia should be accepted by Athens in its talks with Skopje on the FYROM naming issue.
He said this is based on the precedent set by Greece’s political party leaders in 1992, a quarter century ago before over a hundred countries recognised Skopje as Macdedonia.
He also expressed trust in Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias handling of the negotiations, ‘’ because we truly are seeking a solution, which should be in line with the inviolable condition which we set,’’ Kammenos said.
Kotzias’ position is diametrically opposed to that of the Independent Greeks.
But that was no surprise for the government, which has already said it would accept support of other parties’ MPs in passing a prospective settlement in parliament.
Kammenos also set as a condition that the FYROM constitution be amended to remove several references viewed by Athens as laying claims on Greek territory or as intervening in Greek domestic affairs.
Abiding allegiance to Tsipras
‘’As far as the issue of our participation in the government, we Independent Greeks made an agreement of honour with Syriza and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and we shall serve that honourable agreement until the end, until the end of the popular mandate, the end of the four-year term,’’ Kammenos said.