Greek Opposition Suspects MPs Will Back 'Name' Deal
A former Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, from the opposition New Democracy party, has accused Panos Kammenos, head of the junior ruling United Greeks party, of bluffing when he speaks against the "name" deal with Macedonia
Bakoyannis said on Thursday that when the vote comes to parliament, Kammenos will change his mind under pressure from his senior partner, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, thus ensuring the sucess of the controversial deal, which nationalists on both sides of the border oppose.
"We will soon hear a victorious statement from Defence Minister [Kammenos] because he has no other choice, as he does not have the party behind him. He is in a state of despair and he will change his mind in the end," Bakoyannis said.
On Wednesday, the head of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said if Kammenos had truly wanted to block the agreement, he would have left the government months ago.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tsipras said that the name agreement would be put forward for ratification in parliament by the end of the month.
He said that if the Macedonian parliament passes the final phase of the constitutional changes, changing the country's name into Republic of North Macedonia, he expected the bilateral formalities to finish soon and the Greek parliament would convene immediately afterwards.
If parliament in Macedonia agrees to the name change, at a session that started on Wednesday, the final act of implementing the agreement will pass to Athens, where the parliament will have to ratify it.
Unlike Macedonia, whose government must secure a two-thirds majority for its side of the agreement, only a simple majority is needed in the Greek parliament.
This means that at least 151 MPs in...