Coalition tones down Mouzalas rhetoric

Coalition tones down Mouzalas rhetoric

Members of the coalition government have reportedly agreed to shelve their differences over whether Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas should resign until after the crucial EU refugee summit in Brussels.

The decision followed two days of acrimony sparked by demands by coalition partner and nationalist Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos for Mouzalas’s dismissal for referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as “Macedonia,” during an interview on Skai on Tuesday.

Parliamentary groups of both parties met Thursday in a bid to iron out differences and reportedly agreed that the crisis, which threatened the cohesion of the coalition, would only weaken the hand of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and Mouzalas for that matter, during the Brussels negotiations.

The Prime Minister’s Office has also asked ministers to refrain from public statements that could further fuel tensions. Kammenos met at his home late Wednesday with State Minister Nikos Pappas and agreed, after talks that lasted two-and-half hours, to tone down the rhetoric.

However, several leading Independent Greeks officials insisted Thursday that the Mouzalas case is not closed.

At the same time, government officials in Brussels Thursday reportedly said that time was working on Mouzalas’s side and that the demands for his resignation would soon be outweighed by decisions made at the EU summit.

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