Ex-FM Kotzias insists on Parliament vote to lift immunity of former DM Kammenos

15 April 2019
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A bitter feud between one-time co-Cabinet members in the current Tsipras government, former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias and former defense minister Panos Kammenos, shows no signs of evaporating, as the former on Sunday insisted on Parliament deputies voting to lift the latter’s immunity from prosecution.

Kotzias, in an inflammatory comment to a local radio station, News24/7, charged that Kammenos “is a national slanderer, he won’t avoid a conviction … I will not allow this issue to not be adjudicated by the current Parliament…”

The very public and bitter fall-out between the two men, prominent members of the “strange bedfellows” coalition government that was propped up until earlier this year by Kammenos’ small right-wing and now almost defunct Independent Greeks’ (AN.EL) party, was the latter’s claims of transactions between international financier George Soros and the Greek foreign ministry under Kotzias’ tenure.

Another very high-profile allegation by Kammenos was that the foreign ministry used a slush fund as part of efforts to ratify the contentious Prespa agreement.

Kotzias is viewed as the architect, on the Greek side, of the landmark bilateral agreement to finally resolve the “name issue” with the erstwhile former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), the recently renamed Republic of North Macedonia as per the Prespa pact.

The national conservative Kammenos was a bitter opponent of the Prespa agreement, but remained in the Tsipras government even after it was negotiated and signed by Athens, resigning as it neared ratification.

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