The resignation of Nikos Kotzias from his post as foreign minister is “politically incomprehensible,” as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made clear his support for the Prespes accord, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Thursday.
“The resignation of Nikos Kotzias is politically incomprehensible to me,” he told state-run television channel ERT.
“The prime minister is not blackmailed by anyone and does not blackmail anyone. Also, it [the resignation] is somewhat incomprehensible to me because there was never a dilemma for the prime minister between Kotzias and Kammenos,” he added.
Kotzias submitted his resignation Wednesday, a day after a tense cabinet meeting during which he clashed with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which the latter strongly opposes. Kammenos also reportedly accused Kotzias of mismanaging secret foreign ministry funds.
The former minister felt that Tsipras did not support him against Kammenos’ attacks.
Asked whether anyone defended Kotzias, the spokesman did not answer directly but said there are “absolutely no shadows” concerning the former minister’s ethical integrity.
Tzanakopoulos said instead that Tsipras reiterated his full support for the name deal during the meeting.
"The prime minister has a very specific political direction, a very specific political aim – to implement the Prespes agreement…The Prespes agreement is not only alive, but it constitutes a central political aim for us,” he said.