Mitsotakis: draft agreement on ‘name issue’ must be discussed in Parliament before signing

13 June 2018
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It was main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ turn on Wednesday morning to visit the presidential mansion, a day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras briefed the country’s head of state over an agreement with the Zaev government in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) to finally resolve the “name issue”.

In his initial statements with Greek President Prokopis Pavolopoulos, Mitsotakis called for an “intervention” by the latter so that the draft agreement is tabled in Parliament as soon as possible for debate, even before it is signed by the two sides.

The ND leader directly cited the appearance that the agreement lacks the support of a majority of Parliament’s 300 MPs, alluding therefore to a “no confidence vote” prospect for the leftist-rightist coalition government.

Tsipras’ junior partner in the coalition, Panos Kammenos, the head of a small right-wing party, has repeatedly said that MPs of the latter will not support any fYRoM “name issue” deal that includes the word “Macedonia” for the neighboring country.

Mitsotakis also called on Pavlopoulos, who holds the ceremonial head of state post in the country, to also press for a Parliament debate on the particulars of the agreement in the coming period, and not after a ratification process in the neighboring country.

Pavlopoulos, a long-time deputy and minister in various New Democracy (ND) Cabinets before being elected by Parliament to the post in early 2015, has also come under his share of sharp criticism by the opposition since then, especially for not attempting to block a controversial referendum by the Tsipras government in July 2015.

On Wednesday, Pavlopoulos merely responded that he will act in accordance with the Greek constitution and fulfill the duties that correspond to his position.

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