PM says will ask Kammenos to clarify stance, eyes confidence vote

PM says will ask Kammenos to clarify stance, eyes confidence vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday that he will seek a vote of confidence if the leader of the junior coalition party, Panos Kammenos, withdraws his trust in the government due to objections over the Prespes name agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). 

In an interview with the Open TV channel, Tsipras repeatedly said that Kammenos has pledged not to withdraw his confidence in the government, adding that he does not believe the leader of Independent Greeks (ANEL) will “pour more water on the mill” and “facilitate the plans of our political opponents.” 

The PM said he will ask Kammenos to clear his stance at Friday’s meeting between the two men.

He stressed, however, that if Kammenos does indeed decide to change his stance “he will have no other choice” than to call a confidence vote, expressing confidence that he can secure the necessary 151 votes needed to stay in power. 

Tsipras also hinted that he would call snap elections rather than lead a minority government – as suggested two weeks ago by his spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos. 

“Constitutionally, there is no problem, but politically there clearly is,” he said. “In this case I will go for early elections in due course.” 

He clarified that early elections would take place after the Prespes agreement is ratified by Greek Parliament and the constitutional review is completed. 

Asked about the timing of the ratification of the name deal, Tsipras said he will bring it before lawmakers immediately after the country receives official note of its completion in FYROM.

He warned that if Greece refuses to ratify it after it is approved by FYROM’s Parliament “the country will become an international laughing stock.”

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