Gov’t slams opposition pledge to renegotiate name deal

Gov’t slams opposition pledge to renegotiate name deal

The government Wednesday attacked main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for pledging to renegotiate the name deal signed between Athens and Skopje last summer if he becomes prime minister. 

A statement issued by Maximos Mansion pointed at comments made by UN envoy Matthew Nimetz Wednesday in which he warned that failure to ratify the so-called Prespes deal would entail “profound” consequences for both countries.

In an interview with state-run Athens-Macedonia news agency, Nimetz ruled out the possibility of a “quick-fix” should the deal not be endorsed by the Greek Parliament, adding “it would take years” for Athens and Skopje to hammer out a new deal.

“Nimetz has essentially put an end to Mr Mitsotakis’s fairy tale,” the statement said while criticizing the New Democracy chief of changing his long-standing position on the name dispute for the sake of political expediency.

Greek MPs were Wednesday debating the deal in a stormy parliamentary session scheduled to culminate in a vote late Thursday. Wednesday's plenary debate began after the deal passed through Parliament's committee on defense and foreign policy.

Critics have called for a demonstration in Athens Thursday.

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