Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that he remains proud of his decision to negotiate and sign the Prespa treaty, even as it is likely to cost him his office in the coming early general elections. Tsipras and Zoran Zaev negotiated a treaty without including the opposition parties in both countries, and the result is deeply unpopular in both Macedonia and Greece, raising the question how sustainable it will be.
I’m proud of my Government and I’m sure my then Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is proud too. We resisted the current to defend our national interests. We improved the prestige of our country, Tsipras said, adding that the deal allows Greece to concentrate on its actual danger to the east – Turkey.
Tsipras’ SYRIZA party was wiped out in the municipal and European elections, losing all but one of Greece’s regional houses, and suffered especially heavy loses in the border regions toward Macedonia, where the treaty is especially resented. This forced Tsipras to call for early general elections in July, elections the conservative New Democracy, which opposes the Prespa treaty, is expected to win. As a silver lining, Tsipras said that his move didn’t cause a division along north-south lines in Greece, because, as he insists, the backlash against his Government is fell throughout Greece.