Conflict in Greece between the government and the opposition on the name issue

The conflict in Greece between the government and the opposition on the name issue is continuing.

Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who is a leader of junior ruling coalition member ‘Independent Greeks’ (ANEL), reaffirmed Wednesday his opposition to a possibility for the name dispute solution to include the term ‘Macedonia’.

In a press conference , Panos Kammenos said the council of political party leaders must be convened by the Greek President to discuss Athens’s position on the name issue.

“We hold to our stance to be against the use of the term Macedonia,” Kammenos, said.

Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said his stance on this matter should not be interpreted as an intention for criticizing the Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, who ‘is the best Greece’s FM thus far’.
Nine deputies represent the ‘Independent Greeks’ (ANEL) party in the Greek Parliament, enabling the Alexis Tsipras’ government to have a majority of 153 MPs in the 300-seat parliament.

Few days ago, former Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis wrote on Twitter that Kammenos, during the rule of Kostas Karamanlis, who served as prime minister from 2004 to 2009, accepted twice the compound name with a geographical qualifier for a solution to the name dispute.

Gov’t spokesman responds to ND deputy Bakoyannis

Foreign policy “cannot be carried out through tweets,” and New Democracy Deputy Dora Bakoyannis should know better as a former foreign minister, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Wednesday.

Tzanakopoulos was responding to criticism by Bakoyannis, who accused the government of entering negotiations with Macedonia “with two conflicting positions.”

The spokesman added, “As for the substance of the issue, we would like to inform her that the government has both the will and the ability to resolve an issue that Greece inherited from her own party.”