The head of Greece's junior coalition partner and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said on Wednesday he will ask Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek a supermajority of 180 MPs in the country's 300-seat House for the ratification of the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), instead of a regular majority of 151, given the importance of the issue.
In comments following a meeting of the parliamentary group and executive secretariat of his party, Independent Greeks (ANEL), Kammenos reiterated that the nationalist party will never back the agreement reached between the leftist-led government and Skopje for North Macedonia, adding that he considers it unlikely it will be be approved by referendum in the neighboring country either.
Earlier, FYROM's parliament ratified the deal with 69 votes in favor in the 120-member House. The main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party boycotted the session.
On a separate but related note, Kammenos went on to say that members of his party have come under attack after the government survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament on Saturday night following a motion by the main New Democracy opposition over the FYROM name deal.
The nationalist leader claimed that he has evidence showing that the conservatives are behind the threats to members of his tiny party – which saw its seats dwindle to eight after MP Dimitris Kammenos backed the no-confidence motion, straying from the party line, and the coalitions majority to a scant 153 seats – in a campaign to coerce ANEL lawmakers to join its ranks.
The no-confidence motion filed by ND, Kammenos argued, was not about the name agreement.
“It was aimed at Independent Greeks in order to halt the government's policies so that we would not reach tomorrow, the day of the Eurogroup meeting and the country's exit from the memorandum period,” Kammenos claimed, suggesting that the no-confidence motion was a ruse to topple the government.