Greek leading opposition official Dora Bakoyannis, sister of opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, dismissed claims that nationalist Defense Minister Panos Kammenos is working to stop the deal to rename Macedonia. Bakoyannis, who was a key figure in Greece’s veto of Macedonia’s NATO membership in 2008, said that if Kammenos really wanted to stop the deal, he would’ve left the Alexis Tsipras Government.
Tsipras secured a majority in the Parliament for the Prespa treaty, and this is making Kammenos desperate, said Bakoyannis, after the centrist To Potami party said it will support the deal. This would give Tsipras enough votes to ratify the Prespa deal even without the votes of Kammenos’ ANEL party in Parliament.
Kammenos is still threatening he will leave the Government if the deal is put before Parliament, but has not done so until now, except that he secured the resignation of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who negotiated the Prespa treaty. ANEL and New Democracy are both opposed to the deal, and are also accusing each of being too lenient to Tsipras on the issue.
We will probably soon hear another tearful statement from the Defense Minister, who no longer influences Tsipras’ decisions, but has no other choice and has no party behind him, Bakoyannis said.
Tsipras announced that the Prespa treaty will be sent before the Greek Parliament shortly after it is ratified in Macedonia. But, he did announce that the Greek ratification of Macedonia’s accession to NATO, which under the agreement Greece needs to do quickly, will be postponed for a period of time. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Athens today and it is expected she will push Greek politicians to approve the deal as soon as possible.