Former PM Samaras: Athens gave away ethnicity, language with Prespa Agreement; SYRIZA reax

8 October 2018
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Former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday launched into a scathing attack against the current leftist-rightist coalition government over a bilateral agreement to finally resolve the fYRoM “name issue”.

“They’re giving up everything… only to win another six months deferment in cutting pensions,” Samaras charged from the northern city of Kavala.

Samaras, as foreign minister in the early 1990s, was one of the protagonists in the bitter squabble that erupted at the time between Athens and the neophyte country that emerged to its north from the rump of the former Yugoslavia. He was subsequently fired by then prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis over disagreements in the handling of the issue and formed his own small right-of-center party.

He returned to center-right New Democracy (ND) party’s fold years later and became its leadeer and prime minister between 2013 and 2015.

In echoing much of the criticism to the right of the Tsipras government, Samaras said the Prespa Agreement officially recognizes a “Macedonian” language and ethnicity.

In a reaction, the leftist SYRIZA party, which dominates the current coalition government, said Samaras merely “cannot realize that he and his party lost two elections in 2015.”

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