News ID: 232947
Published: 0421 GMT October 17, 2018

Greek PM takes over as FM, says won’t tolerate dissent

Greek PM takes over as FM, says won’t tolerate dissent

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took over as foreign minister on Wednesday and said he would not let personal agendas overshadow policy, after his foreign minister resigned amid reports of a cabinet split over Macedonia.

Tsipras said he would do whatever was needed to ensure the success of an accord with Greece’s neighbor to end a decades-old dispute over its name, Reuters reported.

Commenting on assuming the foreign minister role, Tsipras said:  “It is a decision not to tolerate, from now on, any double-speak from anyone, or any personal agenda in the national line of the country.”

He said he was “pained” to have to accept the resignation of foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, who quit amid reports of a growing rift with a coalition partner over a June 2018 deal with Macedonia to end the name dispute.

Earlier, Greek media reported that Kotzias had clashed with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over a deal that aims to end a decades-old name dispute with neighboring Macedonia.

Kotzias was Athens’ main negotiator in the talks that led to the June accord with Skopje to rename Greece’s northern neighbor North Macedonia. Its fate is now uncertain because a referendum in Macedonia on the deal failed to reach a minimum turnout threshold to make it constitutionally valid.

Kammenos is from a right-wing junior coalition partner vehemently opposed to the accord with Skopje. The right-wing party’s support is crucial for Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza party, as he has a razor-thin parliamentary majority.


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