Former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias expressed his dissatisfaction over the abstention of Greek interim government from the United Nations critical resolution on the restructuring of debt of debt-ridden countries.
Kotzias said that the caretaker government has far exceeded its powers. “The caretaker government must serve the country until elections and not change the policy of the previously elected government,” he noted.
The former minister further said that after elected in January, prime minister Alexis Tsipras gave specific instructions to Greece’s Permanent Delegation in the UN to actively participate in the UN team on state debt with the prospect of voting for the resolution. This position was promoted during the seven-month SYRIZA-ANEL rule, despite pressure from Greece’s European partners to the contrary.
“Today’s change of policy by the foreign affairs ministry, instigated by the interim finance minister [Giorgos Chouliarakis], far exceeds the powers of the caretaker government, who all they had to do was to consult with the elected prime minister Alexis Tsipras,” Kotzias said.
Chouliarakis also received fire from former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and former house speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou for abstaining from the vote that could have helped on the Greek debt.
Diplomatic sources reject claim of having orders to participate in UN debt vote
The outgoing government never gave instructions to the Greek diplomatic representation in the United Nations on how to vote in the discussion concerning the restructuring of state debts, diplomatic sources said on Friday.
The sources were responding to accusations by former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias who argued that the caretaker government had “exceeded its authority” by not participating in the aforementioned vote. According to the same sources, the last instructions were given in 2014 by the then government and said the Greek representation should abstain. They added that the vote in question did not concern Greece, whose debt is towards nations and has a very low interest rate, but mainly developing nations such as Argentina.
The sources also said that if Greece supported the vote, it would bring the country against all other EU countries which abstained and Britain who voted against it, and from which Greece expects debt relief. It was also noted that these UN decisions are not binding and countries are not legally obliged to implement them.