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Greek opposition head plans to call no-confidence vote over Macedonia name deal

June 14, 2018 1:42 PM
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Tsipras has a four-seat majority in the 300-member parliament, but the name deal has led to a rift within the government. The stance of Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, who heads the coalition’s junior partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks party, will be crucial.

Kammenos said before the deal was announced that he would oppose the agreement in a parliamentary vote, which would leave Tsipras dependent on support from political opponents to ratify it in parliament. It is unclear, however, whether his objections to the Macedonia name deal would lead him to bring down the government by voting against Tsipras in a no-confidence motion.

Mitsotakis was to formally submit the motion later Thursday, after a parliamentary vote on economic reforms, and debate was to begin Thursday evening.

Meanwhile in Macedonia, Zaev was faced with a refusal by the country’s president, Gjorge Ivanov, to sign off on the deal if it is ratified by parliament. Such a refusal would delay the implementation of the deal, which is expected to be signed this weekend.

“Such a harmful agreement, which is unique in the history of mankind, is shameful and unacceptable for me,” Ivanov said in a Wednesday television address. “It violates the Constitution (and) the laws … I will not legalize political illegal agreements.”

If the president refuses to sign, the deal would return to parliament for another vote. Ivanov would have to sign off on the agreement if it is passed a second time.

Up to 1,500 people held a peaceful protest against the deal outside parliament in Skopje late Wednesday, chanting “Traitors” and blowing whistles. Greek opponents of the deal were planning a protest in Athens Friday, when Tsipras is set to brief parliament on details of the deal.

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