Independent Greeks Rule Out Quitting Government



PM Tsipras (R) with his junior government coalition partner, Panos Kammenos (file photo).

The president of Greece’s junior governing party on Monday said it will stay in power with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ SYRIZA “to the end”.

Independent Greeks (ANEL) president, Panos Kammenos, gave a statement on Monday saying his party had made an “honest agreement with SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and this honest agreement will be honored to the end, by the end of four years”.

The statement comes amid speculation Tsipras could be re-considering his parliamentary alliances so he can ratify any deal struck with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name dispute.

Tsipras held a series of one-on-one briefings on Saturday with the leaders of Greece’s opposition parties, laying bare ongoing divisions over how to end the decades-long conflict with Skopje over use of the term ‘Macedonia’.

Kammenos — Greece’s defense minister — who also said he “trusted” Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to lead Greek negotiators, confirmed his family would attend Sunday’s planned rally in Athens against the use of ‘Macedonia’ in any future name for Greece’s northern neighbor.

“The rallies are organized by the citizens. We [ANEL] are involved. The participants are Greek citizens expressing a national position and helping the national negotiation,” he said.

Sunday’s rally follows a significant demonstration in the northern city of Thessaloniki earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the UN mediator on the naming dispute has expressed optimism that a mutually acceptable solution will be found.

On the eve of his arrival to Greece for two-day talks on ways to solve the 27-year-old dispute, Matthew Nimetz told Greek newspaper Kathimerini that both sides must be realistic and be ready to make compromises.


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