Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked the government ministers to commit themselves to not bring down the government on the Macedonia name issue. Tsipras was addressing a cabinet meeting of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government on Tuesday, with his junior partner Panos Kammenos to insist in not supporting the Prespes Agreement.
The Prime Minister urged for the unity of the government “as a time when we can reap the fruits of a three-and-a-half year effort and we are not in the post-bailout recovery of the Greek economy.”
Citing government sources, media report that Tsipras has asked all ministers to commit themselves that they have no thoughts to identify with right-wing or far-right-wing efforts to overthrow the government on the name issue.
“i understand that the issue of Macedonia is creating different opinions. However, in the name of these differences the premature end of the government cannot be announced or forecast,” Tsipras said.
He asked the ministers to not support the censure motion main opposition party conservative New Democracy plans to submit over the Macedonia issue and the Prespes Agreement.
“i don not ask anybody to change positions. But I ask you to make clear that you don not think and you will not identify yourselves with the opposition in a possible censure motion against the government,” Tsipras urged the ministers.
He stressed that the opposition is using the Prespes Agreement as a pretext to bring down the coalition government who time officially expires in autumn 2019.
According to the same sources, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos assured the Prime Minister “I maintain my position on the name of FYROM. I will never fight along the efforts to bring down the government.”
In the same wavelength were also the commitments by the two ANEL ministers Elena Kountoura – Tourism Minister – and Terens Quick -Deputy Foreign Minister for Diaspora Greeks-.
Outside the cabinet meeting, ANEL MP Thanassis Papachristopoulos announced that he will go against the party line and will vote in favor of the Prespses Agreement once it comes to the Parliament for ratification and then give back his seat to the party. ANEL has seven MPs in total.
PS I think it is the first time I hear a PM to ask minister to not bring down the government *sigh*