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Kammenos & “Macedonia”: Much Ado About Nothing – the Greek Version? (analysis)

Should he stay or should he go? Defense Minister and Independent Greeks (ANEL)-leader Panos Kammenos vs Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas. Should he stay or should he go? But who is “he”?

Tsirpas’ coalition partner Kammenos has launched an unbelievable theatrical performance focusing on his demand that Mouzalas should resign over saying “Macedonia” instead of FYROM during a television interview – which was earlier reordered and not Live, by the way.

Mouzalas publicly apologized twice, but this was not enough for Kammenos. He wants one SYRIZA minister out. After meeting with his Parliamentary group on Thursday morning, Kammenos said “we support the government through its four-year mandate”.  On the surface, it looks like a change of course. But ANEL will ask again the resignation of Migration Minister Mouzalas next week – only that ANEL will spare PM Tsipras’ from removing Mouzalas and will ask that the Minister submits his resignation on his own initiative.

What is clear is that the Prime Minister does not to like the idea of losing one of his most respected ministers. Furthermore, as SYRIZA is a party that collectively takes decisions, many high ranking party officials expressed their full support to Mouzalas. Tsipras allegedly sent the message to Kammenos that he is not willing to see Mouzalas go.

The peak of tragicomedy

The Greek tragicomedy play reached its peak on Wednesday night, when in panic to save face, Kammenos leaked to affiliated journalists several “I go”- threats apparently in hope to scare the Prime Minister.

The ‘threats’ were of the kind that “he was ready to abandon the government”, that “he had ordered his staff to pick up his stuff from his office at the Defense Ministry” and that “he had given an ultimatum to Tsipras to have Mouzalas go by 9 a.m. today,” that “he had even went so far to cancel his official trip to USA.” – The USA trip will take place as scheduled!

One more scenario claimed that “Kammenos would withdraw his ministers from the government but he would keep offering support and vote in favor of all government decisions.”

As PM Tsipras made it clear to Kammenos that no decision would be taken before the EU-Turkey Summit anyway, Kammenos had allegedly given a new ultimatum for Tuesday next week.

Motive is Revenge?

1:1 scheme? Looks like that or at least it cannot be excluded from Kammenos’ motive to turn “a hair into a braid” as we say here in Greece.

On 23. September 2015, SYRIZA was forced to remove ANEL MP Dimitris Kammenos from the post of Deputy Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Networks, just hours after his appointment to the post in the second SYRIZA-ANEL government. Reason for the minister’s removal was a social outrage over Dimitris Kammenos’ racist and antisemitic posts in social media before he became a minister.

Everyone loves the comfort of Gov’t chairs

However, the more the days pass, the slimmer are Kammenos’ chances to achieve his goal with Mouzalas. So, what will he do next week? Break the coalition government contract and go? Stay in the government with a huge face palm?

Opposition parties To Potami (11 seats) and PASOK (16 seats) took clear position on the issue saying that Mouzalas’ “Macedonia” was rather “a slip of tongue” and “politically exaggerated” by Kammenos. As both parties are dying to join the government, it is not a secret that Tsipras could find new coalition partners in short time.

As New Democracy also demands Mouzalas resignation, Kammenos could quit the government and join his former party ND that might fall apart in the near future, as ND-Leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis expelled from the party last night, a close assistant of ex PM Antonis Samaras for calling for “Mouzalas execution” on Facebook. Now rumors claim that the assistant -and maybe Samaras – will form a new political party.

Only problem with regards of the change of coalition partner is that it will certainly trigger political and economic instability, even though most likely for a short time.

After 6 years in crisis, Greece can survive this crisis as well, IMHO.

In contrast to Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing is that the Greek version is a tragicomedy with strong features of melodrama as it takes place amid crucial periods of time with the Refugee Crisis in its peak and the negotiations with the country’s lenders to have not concluded yet.

PS in our Greek play the fat lady has already sung and she has sung out of tune.

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  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    No one in Brussels can make any deals now, Greece will look as non reliable if the minister has to resign days after putting his name under anything. For the whole world it would be the best to see what the power-crazed bastards in Vienna and Skopje have instigated, not only that more people died at the borders and Fyrom can break into Greek territory, torture, deport and dump thousands of refugees illegally into Greece and no one of these “Europeans” cares about it or the fact that lots of these refugees have lost their relatives not only in war but also on the way, lots of families departed with members stuck in Yugoslavia, Greece aso.
    While the European public will laugh loud all the racist “Europeans” that applaud the closure of the borders are forced into a funny decision.

  2. No matter what government we have in place it will make no difference except to the size of their respective salaries since they are not in charge of the country. We pay for EU Karagozi theatre “government” since last July. As for Mouzalas he is “respected” because he made all the right EU noises and gave away the shop. He is no loss.