Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is chairing an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss developments on the FYROM naming issue, and to brief his ministers after his three-hour talks with FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his deputy ministers – Yorgos Katrougalos, Yannis Amanatidis (who represents a Thessaloniki electoral district), and Terrence Kouik (the only cabinet member at the meeting from the coalition’s junior partner, Panos Kammenos’ Independent Greeks).
Other top ministers who attended the meeting were Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Interior Minister Panos Skourletis, Economy Minister Yorgos Stahakis, Administrative Reform Minister Olga Gerovasili.
The positions and proposals presented by Zaev will be the focus of the meeting, as will efforts to bridge the divide between Syriza and the Independent Greeks.
Tsipras had already met this morning with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and briefed him privately on the discussions with Zaev in Davos, as well as on developments on the economic front. It is unclear if there was any progress in bridging their differences on whether to accept use of the name Macedonia by Skopje.
The prime minister is scheduled to visit the presidential mansion at 6:30pm today to offer to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos an exhaustive appraisal of developments in the FYROM naming issue and to evaluate prospects of a compromise.
Briefing opposition parties
The prime minister will hold informational meetings with the leaders of parliamentary parties tomorrow, at his Maximos Mansion offices.
The first will be with New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The main opposition leader has complained that Tsipras has conducted “secret diplomacy” and that he left opposition parties in the dark. A source in his the party said that it is “very late for a substantial briefing from the prime minister».
Mitsotakis will remain briefly at the prime minister’s office, reportedly because he has a scheduled flight to the United Arab Emirates.