PM Tsipras’ Relations With Ex-Ally Kammenos Tense



Greek PM Alexis Tsipras with former Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. File photo

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a letter on Monday morning to Speaker of the Parliament Nikolaos Voutsis, urging him not to change the House’s regulations regarding the composition of parliamentary caucuses.

Tsipras, in a move which escalated the already-tense relations between his government and SYRIZA’s ex-coalition partner Panos Kammenos, declared in the letter that “I have never been blackmailed by anyone.”

Tsipras was referring to the accusations of Greek opposition parties that a possible change in parliamentary regulations would mean that the prime minister succumbed to Kammenos’ threats, upon the dissolution of his ANEL party’s parliamentary caucus.

”I ask you to take no initiative to change the House’s regulations, not even a punctuation mark,” Tsipras said. This effectively cancels the already-announced changes which would have allowed parliamentary caucuses to ”survive” even if they were left with less than five MPs.

Panos Kammenos and his ANEL party left the Greek government in January, 2019, due to Kammenos’ opposition to the Prespa Agreement. Some of his fellow party representatives did not follow him, which leaves his small parliamentary group at risk of being dissolved.