New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is launching a series of trips to the province of Macedonia with a visit to Kilkis, for a celebration of the 105th anniversary of the liberation of the city.
New Democracy has made clear that it will not ratify the Greece-FYROM agreement on the naming issue, party spokesperson Maria Spyraki underlined.
“Tsipras at Prespes [where the accord was signed] accepted a bad agreement. The overwhelming majority of Greeks is wounded by the fact that the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government did not respect their sensitivities. The Tsipras-Kammenos government accepted what no Greek government had until now – the existence of a Macedonian nation and of a Macedonian language,” Spyraki said.
She also responded to the positive responses to the deal from abroad. “If the Karamanlis government [in 2008] had accepted at the Bucharest Nato summit the accession to Nato of our neighbour under the name FYROM, everyone would have applauded. Wε are here as the main opposition party and as a political force which has marked the history of Greece, in order to defend the national interest,” she underlined.
Many in New Democracy believe that the accord on the Macedonian naming issue may mark the end of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks collaboration, with serious implications for the government.
The Independent Greeks party is in disharmony with its electoral base, but SYRIZA MPs representing districts in northern Greece are also being severely pressure by their electorate.
The agreement will have to be ratified within 2018, and the two ruling coalition parties have very different strategies.
Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos has said that his party will not vote for the agreement, but that he will request that it be ratified by a three-fifths majority of 180 MPs.
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a news conference yesterday that the government is ruling out a 180-seat majority and that if the Independent Greeks vote down the accord it will ask parliament for a vote of confidence.
Meanwhile, Mitsotakis in contacts with top EU officials has been pushing for a bold debt relief agreement