Tsipras-Kammenos meeting on Sunday morning

Saturday, 12 January 2019 21:25
UPD:13/01/2019 15:45
INTIME NEWS/ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΤΗΣ

A closely watched meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose small right-wing party is the now shaky junior partner in the current "strange bedfellows" coalition government, will finally take place on Sunday morning.

The meeting comes ahead of the pending submission to Greece's 300-MP Parliament of the provisional Prespa agreement, which aims to finally resolve the fYRoM "name issue". The Parliament in the neighboring country, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), narrowly passed constitutional revisions on Friday evening to remove the last obstacle for ratification by that state.

Nevertheless, the often thunderous Kammenos now finds himself in the enviable position of either remaining as a Cabinet minister in a government that will attempt to ratify a bilateral agreement that he categorically opposes - along with continuing to prop up the Tsipras government if it passes the Prespa pact - or resigning and then voting down the mostly leftist government in a possible no-confidence measure.

With opinion polls showing his party, the rightist-populist Independent Greeks (AN.EL), a long-shot to re-enter Parliament in this year's election, and with his personal voter approval ratings at a nadir, the 53-year-old career politician also faces a highly probable "mutiny" by three or four out of the six deputies he retains in Parliament, in both the contentious vote for ratification and a possible no-confidence motion.

Sources close to Tsipras' office on Saturday said the prime minister called Kammenos to request the meeting.

His remaining deputies and top associates on Friday reportedly told Kammenos that they would not support a measure calling for party MPs and cadres to resign from the Cabinet positions they hold.

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