Tsipras: If Kammenos withholds support I'll request vote of confidence

Wednesday, 09 Jan 2019 23:32 UPD: 23:37

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared live on an Athens TV channel's primetime newscast on Wednesday to shore up support for the provisional Prespa agreement, which aims to resolve the long-standing fYRoM "name issue", a landmark deal that, however, threatens to unravel his "strange bedfellows" coalition government months before a general election.

Tsipras, in fact, called the agreement with the neighboring former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) the "second most important achievement of our administration after the exit from the memorandums".

He was referring to last August's conclusion of the third memorandum bailout, the one signed by his government in 2015 and passed by an overwhelming parliament majority after he and his leftist-rightist coalition caved in to institutional creditors' demands and in the wake of a divisive referendum in July 2015.

"Greece has no interest in instability for the neighboring country; no interest whatsoever from the dissolution of fYRoM and the creation of a 'greater Albania'," he pointed said.

Asked when his government will bring the agreement to Parliament for ratification, he said possibly this month.  

In response to a question over the stance by his junior coalition partner, right-wing Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, he appeared more-or-less confident.

"I believe that he will maintain his confidence in the government, and this is what I will ask of him on Friday," adding that if Kammenos decides to exit the coalition then "we'll standoff in Parliament; I will ask for a vote of confidence... My partner will not facilitate the plans of (political) adversaries," he opined.

Kammenos continues to sport a hard-line stance on the "name issue" even as at least three of his remaining deputies have voiced support.


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