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  • FYROM agreement divides Greek political parties

    Today, the agreement signed just three days ago at Prespes, on an issue that has bedeviled the country for nearly three decades, appears to be redrawing the political map and is creating deep fissures in some parties.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team
    The signing of the FYROM naming agreement has divided political parties more than any issue since the signing of the first bailout memorandum, in 2010.

    At that time, the memorandum split parties, created splinter parties, and united erstwhile political opponents, such as Pasok and New Democracy, in a coalition government.

    It also united parties that are much more deeply opposed ideologically – SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks – which have ruled over the last three years.

    Today, the agreement signed just three days ago at Prespes, on an issue that has bedeviled the country for nearly three decades, appears to be redrawing the political map and is creating deep fissures in some parties.

    Three days after the signing, parties are counting their gains and losses, and are gauging their next moves, ahead of the next general elections.

    SYRIZA

    For SYRIZA, the no confidence vote initiated by New Democracy managed to rally MPs together and divert attention from the harsh measures in the law containing the last prior actions before the completion of the bailout programme.

    The FYROM agreement was welcomed by the left wing of the party, which always favoured a compromise with Skopje, and which was most disturbed by the austerity measures passed last week.

    The so called “group of 53”, who purport to be the left-wing conscience of the party, moved from strong criticism of the medium-term fiscal programme to applause for PM Alexis Tsipras’ major accomplishment on a foreign policy issue.

    Patriotic centre
    On the other hand, many SYRIZA cadres are concerned that the FYROM agreement will divide the party from the patriotic centre – including former Pasok voters who form a large part of the political base that swept SYRIZA to power in 2015.

    Moreover, there is deep anxiety over a prospective collapse of SYRIZA’s base in northern Greece, the region with the largest percentage of opponents of the agreement. Some polls have shown that the agreement has decimated the party in the north.

    The PM’s team hopes that time will temper the current rage, and that improvements and initiatives on issues of everyday life might counterbalance the broad disaffection.

    International
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