The state of the fragile Greek economy, higher taxes and the course towards the end (August 2018) of the third successive bailout have been briefly sidelined at the end of the year, in the wake of speculation over a looming initiative to finally solve the "name issue" separating Athens and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM).
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to bring the fYRoM "name issue" to his Cabinet at the beginning of the new year, a development that coincides with renewed press reports of snap elections in 2018 - a scenario, however, that has been strongly dismissed by the leftist-rightist coalition government, which trails behind the center-right main opposition in all mainstream opinion polls.
The other headline-grabbing "dimension" in the brewing speculation over a "name issue" resolution is the pre-emptive refusal of head of the junior right-wing coalition partner, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, to vote for any resolution that includes the term "Macedonia" in a composite name. Kammenos, however, has repeatedly changed his stance and positions after joining the "strange bedfellows" government coalition in January 2015, such as voting in favor of a new bailout, continuing a property tax, raising VAT rates on islands etc.
According to reports, Tsipras is also expected to convene leftist SYRIZA's Parliament group on the issue, with the same to be requested from Kammenos for his small rightist-populist Independent Greeks (AN.EL) party.
Sources within Tsipras' office believe Kammenos will not cause a government crisis over the fYRoM issue, although the latter's reference to a political party leaders' meeting, under the auspices of the figurehead president of the republic to seek a consensus, was not, apparently, well received.