PM’s office says will not ‘fast track’ name deal, challenges opposition leader to debate


The office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday made a public invitation to the head of the main opposition, New Democracy, to take part in a lived televised debate between the two leaders.

Tsipras's office challenged Kyriakos Mitsotakis to defend his conservative party's position on the contentious deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) settling a decades old name dispute, which is expected to go to lawmakers for ratification within the next few months after the prime minister survived a confidence vote in Parliament on Wednesday night.

In the debate preceding the vote, Mitsotakis reiterated his party's opposition to the so-called Prespes agreement, suggesting it made too many concessions to the other side. The majority of Greeks are against the use of the term “Macedonia” in FYROM's name and constitution, saying it denotes irredentist ambitions over the region of that name in northern Greece.

The PM's office said that is has no intention to “fast track” the process and will make the full text of the agreement public in this weekend's press so that the Greek people can be informed of what exactly it contains before Tsipras takes on Mitsotakis in any debate.