Alexis Tsipras said he believed junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos will not bring down the government, despite his strong opposition to the name-change agreement struck with neighboring Macedonia.
However, the PM made clear that if Kammenos withdraws from the coalition, he will put forth a vote of confidence motion. In this case, if he fails to secure the necessary majority to stay in power, his intention is to call an early election. Nevertheless, he reiterated his intention to see out his four-year term in office.
“The second most important achievement of our government, after the exit from the memoranda, is the Prespa Agreement” Tsipras stated, adding that resolving the long-standing dispute will be his legacy as premier.
He warned that if Greece refuses to ratify it after Macedonia has been made to change its constitution "the country will become an international laughing stock."
The Prime Minister praised Kammenos, calling successful in his role as Foreign Minister, while adding that during a one-to-one meeting with him on Friday, he will ask that he doesn’t bring down the coalition.
He went on to attack main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriacos Mitsotakis over his stance on the controversial issue. Tsipras accused Mitsotakis of fueling tensions and constantly changing his views in an effort to score petty political points.
Asked when the name-change deal will come to Greek parliament for ratification, the PM said he expected it to be tabled in the House “most possibly in January”.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s interview, New Democracy issued an announcement arguing that the Prime Minister is looking to patch up the holes in his government. The center-right party accused Tsipras of being glued to his chair, adding that the Greek people want stability, security and prosperity that only New Democracy can guarantee after the imminent general election.