Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated on Friday his refusal to publicize the content of the resignation letter left in his office by former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, who vacated his post on Wednesday.
Kotzias has asserted that the Tsipras administration must make the contents of the letter pubic.
Speaking to reporters after a EU summit in Brussels, Tsipras said that he will read the letter marked “strictly confidential” waiting on his desk as soon as he returns to Athens, but will not make its contents public.
“The matter as far as I am concerned is closed,” Tsipras said. “Nikos Kotzias leaves behind a great legacy at the Foreign Ministry and has raised the bar very high for the rest of us.”
Kotzias issued his resignation following a disagreement with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who is also the leader of the junior partner in Greece’s coalition government, the Independent Greeks political party. The outgoing foreign minister accused Kammenos of straying from the government’s foreign policy position regarding the naming issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), during the latter’s visit to Washington last week.
Kammenos has, from the beginning, opposed from the Prespa agreement that Tsipras and Kotzias signed with their counterparts from FYROM. Kotzias, seeing that the prime minister did not back him in his rift with Kammenos, submitted his resignation.
Tsipras told reporters that his government has not been affected by Kotzias’ resignation, and is pressing forward with clear goals without feeling threatened by anyone or anything. He said that he has no intention to request a vote of confidence in Parliament or to declare early elections, as the opposition has requested.
Furthermore, the Greek prime minister stated that he has now personally taken over the foreign ministry portfolio and will ensure that the Prespa agreement will be completed. He added that the FYROM name change deal will confirm Greece’s leading role in the Balkans.