The leader of nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL), Panos Kammenos, told deputy Thanassis Papachristopoulos on Thursday that if he does not give up his parliamentary seat by Friday he will be expelled from the party.
Speaking during a meeting of ANELs parliamentary group, Kammenos said he will proceed with Papachristopoulos's explusion before lawmakers vote on the NATO accession protocol for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, so that the MP “does not vote for the surrender of Macedonia.”
Papachristopoulos did not comment on the news.
The MP voted in favor of the Prespes agreement in January, going against his party's official position. He has declared he will give up his seat but, earlier this week, Parliament president Nikos Voutsis asked him to keep it until the end of the voting which is slated for Friday.
Whatever happens first, the writing is on the wall for the survival of ANEL’s parliamentary group with the expected departure of Papachristopoulos.
His seat will go to Terens Quick, currently deputy foreign minister. If Quick refuses the seat, he will effectively deprive the government of its newly acquired majority of 151, which will drop to 150.
If he takes it he will threaten ANEL’s cohesion, as its parliamentary group will drop below the minimum of five MPs.