Defence Minister and leader of the Independent Greeks (ANEL) party Panos Kammenos on Sunday announced that his party is withdrawing from Greece’s coalition government after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to bridge their differences over the Prespes Agreement.
“I met with the prime minister. We had quite a long discussion. There was a cooperation lasting four whole years in a government of national unity… two parties from different areas came together and succeeded in extricating Greece from the memorandums. The first goal was achieved,” Kammenos told reporters as he left the Maximos Mansion and the meeting with the prime minister.
“The issue of Macedonia, an issue for which thousands were killed, doesn’t permit me to not sacrifice the seat [in government]”.
A vote supporting the government would be tantamount to supporting the Prespes Agreement, he said.
“No solution that uses the term Macedonia was the decision of the first and third conference,” Kammenos told reporters. “For precisely this and only this reason, I announced to the prime minister today that ANEL are withdrawing from the government,” he said.
He suggested that the tabling of a vote of confidence was the result of “hypersensitivity” on the part of the prime minister.
During the press conference, Kammenos said that anyone “trading their vote for a government position” will be expelled from ANEL and added that those voting against will include himself, Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha and Kostas Katsikis.