Greek PM accepts Kotzias resignation, takes over as foreign minister

Greek PM accepts Kotzias resignation, takes over as foreign minister

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has accepted the resignation of Nikos Kotzias as foreign minister, a statement issued by his press office said Wednesday.

The prime minister thanked Kotzias for his contribution to the government and the country over the past 3.5 years, the statement said.

It added that Tsipras will take over the foreign affairs portfolio in order to ensure the successful completion of the name deal signed with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in June.

Kotzias submitted his resignation Wednesday, a day after a tense cabinet meeting during which he clashed with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the Prespes accord. Kammenos has opposed the deal.

Sources told Kathimerini that Kotzias was disgruntled over the fact that Tsipras failed to support him against attacks from Kammenos, who is also junior coalition partner.

According to the same sources, during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting Kammenos accused Kotzias of mismanaging secret foreign ministry funds and being a man of US billionaire financier George Soros.

Aides close to the foreign minister said he had been “deeply offended” by the allegations.

In a tweet following his resignation, Kotzias said Tsipras and several ministers had “decided who to go with,” before quoting Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos: “They did everything possible to bury me – But they forgot that I am a seed.”

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