UN mediator Nimetz in Athens on Tues.; DM promises to stick to ‘honorable agreement’ with Tsipras

30 January 2018
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The long-time UN mediator for the fYRoM “name issue”, Matthew Nimetz, will meet in Athens with both Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and main opposition New Democracy (ND) party’s foreign affairs shadow minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos on Tuesday.

The development comes amid stepped up efforts, which abruptly began this month, to finally solve the nearly three decade diplomatic quandary still preventing a full normalization of relations between Athens and Skopje. Political reverberations, however, from the sensitive issue have momentarily shifted public attention in Greece from the ongoing bailout program – and its effects on taxpayers’ wallets – to the “name issue”.

Kotzias will receive Nimetz at the foreign ministry, while the latter will meet with Koumoutsakos at a central Athens hotel.

Meanwhile, in Athens’ fluid political scene on Monday, which was even more turbulent this week due to the fYRoM “name issue”, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos more-or-less ended any speculation that he’ll leave the “strange bedfellows” coalition with leftist SYRIZA.

“We, the Independent Greeks (AN.EL), made an honorable agreement with SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and we’ll adhere to this honorable agreement to the end, until the end of the four-year term,” he said after chairing a political meeting of his small rightist-populist party.

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