Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday he was taking over the Foreign Ministry following the resignation of Nikos Kotzias in order to ensure the successful completion of the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Speaking to journalists outside Maximos Mansion, he urged FYROM to support the constitutional amendments in the ongoing debate in Parliament, adding that Greece will not accept the Balkan country’s membership of any international organization under the name “Republic of Macedonia.”
Tsipras thanked Kotzias “for his precious contribution all these years in upgrading the country’s geopolitical role.”
The prime minister added that he “will not tolerate double talk and self-serving strategies.”
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 paraphrasing Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos: “They did everything possible to bury me – But they forgot that I am a seed.”