Prespa agreement continues to generate political reax; latest Tsipras comments under fire

31 January 2019
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The recently ratified Prespa agreement continued to generate political clashes this week, with the latest outbreak coming after a videotaped conversation between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with French President Emmanuel Macron and Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

During an informal discussion on the sidelines of the fifth Med7 summit held on Cyprus on Tuesday evening, Tsipras responded to Macron by saying that 70,000 protestors took part in a rally last week in Athens against the agreement, while also describing the demonstrators as “extreme right populists”.

In answer to another question by Macron, and in the presence of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek premier said he believes a majority of people in Greece are in favor of the agreement, qualifying the statement by referring to a “majority of the people that can think, and can criticize (sic) with their minds.”

In an immediate response, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Tsipras “again dared to insult the Greek people… he referred to all those who are against the Prespa agreement as not only right-wing, but also as foolhardy. He did this, impudently and recklessly, in front of foreign leaders.”

In its reaction, Tsipras’ office responded that Mitsotakis continues to ignore the negative image conveyed to international public opinion and European leaders by himself and his party, New Democracy, over their opposition to the bilateral agreement.

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