Centrist To Potami Party Implodes in Greek Parliament



Stavros Theodorakis, Leader of Potami 

Greek Centrist party To Potami was left with no parliamentary caucus on Monday, when two of its deputies resigned over the party’s stance in favor of the Prespa agreement.

Lawmakers Giorgos Amyras and Grigoris Psarianos announced their departure from the party and their decision to become independent, citing their differing stance from party leadership which supports the Macedonia name deal.

To Potami is now left with only three M.P.’s, which is below the minimum of five required for an elected party to constitute a parliamentary group.

In a statement, Amyras said that it was with “sorrow” that he was leaving the party, but that he could not act any differently in the countdown to the vote on the contentious name deal this week.

“I could not, as a parliamentary representative of the party, speak publicly on behalf of the party of which leading members have the opposite view to me on a major national issue,” he said.

For his part, Psarianos said the country was experiencing “the most difficult and dangerous period” in decades. He added that its fate was “in the hands of the worst government since the years of the junta,” referring to Greece’s 1967-1974 military dictatorship.

The party is now left with three M.P.’s — leader Stavros Theodorakis and Spyros Lykoudis, who support the Macedonia deal, and Giorgos Mavrotas, who is leaning toward supporting it.

On Sunday, Movement for Change, the third largest parliamentary group, expelled Thanassis Theoharopoulos after his decision to support the Prespa Agreement.

“Theoharopoulos’ decision to vote in favor of the agreement serves Mr. Tsipras and his plans and can’t be accepted,” the Movement for Change declared in a statement.