81of the 120 lawmakers in FYROM’s Parliament voted on Friday evening in favor of the constitutional amendment to change the country’s name into “North Macedonia.” With FYROM to have fulfilled the majority of the terms and conditions of the Prespes Agreement, now the ball is in Greece’s court to ratify the deal that end the 27-year-old name conflict between the two neighboring Balkan countries.
The latest development inf FYROM puts the coalition government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras under pressure as junior partner Panos Kammenos insists on not approving the deal and to withdraw his ministers.
However, even for Kammenos the situation is not easy as he seems to have failed to win the support of his 6 lawmakers for his reactionary position.
In a phone call on Saturday, Tsipras invited Kammenos for a meeting on Sunday, where the two leaders may have a last chance to find a solution and avoid the coalition collapse and snap elections, six months earlier than the Prime Minister would like to have.
At the same time, political turmoil between the government and main opposition New Democracy broke out and called on prosecutors, after two news websites (documentonews, news247) disclosed that mass messages via sms or phone calls have reached ANEL and independent lawmakers who have declared that they will vote in favor of the Prespes Agreement and give confidence vote to the government. the messages are clearly threatening.
ANEL MP Thanassis Papachristopoulos told 88.6 FM that they threaten him “You’re a traitor, you will be tried for treason, your head will be found in a ditch.” Similar threatening messages have been received by other MPs as well, news247 notes.
According to documento, the mass messages urging ND followers to intimidate the MPs were sent by the secretary of ND’s regional committee to party followers.
After the treats were published on Saturday, the Supreme Court Prosecutor has launched an investigation on whether the crime “incitement to violence” has been committed and whether the the privacy of the MPs has been violated as their phones numbers have been published in the mass messages.
The press office of the Prime Minister issued a statement in which it clearly accuses New Democracy and leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for terrorizing deputies.
““The New Democracy (ND) mechanism, with full knowledge and guidance by its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, attempts to terrorize the deputies,” the Prime Minister’s press office said on Saturday in a statement regarding the threats to MPs in order not to vote for the Prespes Agreement.
“With the numbers of the personal mobile phones of MPs, motivating them to practice violence and terrorism against them, in relation to their position and vote in the Parliament on the crucial national issue of the Prespes Agreement is not only an illegal act but also a further step in the undemocratic course that ND has chosen to follow.”
“Besides it is obvious that their efforts have nothing to do with their view on the Prespes Agreement, but with their effort to destabilize the government, disregarding the destabilization of the country and political normality. Once again they will be proven wrong,” the statement said among others.
At the same time, several Macedonian organizations in Greece and abroad have agreed to hold a big anti-Macedonia rally in Athens. The rally to protest the Prespes Agreement is scheduled for January 20th; that is short before the ratification of the Agreement in the Greek Parliament, expected sometime between end of January, beginning of February.