One day after he denounced comments by Parliament Speaker and SYRIZA MP Nikos Voutsis with regard to the country’s Orthodox identity, the leader of junior partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) defended the role of his right-wing nationalist party in the left-led government coalition.
“We participate in the government but we have carved out our ‘red lines’ on religious, national and free economy issues. When the agreement we have made is circumvented, we have the right to voice [our disagreement] in public,” Panos Kammenos, who is also defense minister, told Skai on Thursday.
Speaking on state-run ERT TV on Wednesday, Voutsis said that “post-bailout Greece cannot be deeply conservative, adhering to the motto of country, religion, family.”
“In Greece, Orthodoxy concerns 90 percent of the population… We are a modern state. We are not a fundamentalist Orthodox state, nor the Taliban of the Orthodox,” he added.
Kammenos, who on Wednesday dismissed Voutsis’s comments with a post on social media, repeated his objections on Thursday. “We are not the Taliban of the Orthodox, nevertheless the Greek Constitution states that Greece is an Orthodox country,” he told Skai.
Kammenos however said that the parliamentary speaker was only expressing his personal opinion on the matter.