Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos resigned today in protest at the name change of Macedonia. The agreement, which should end the decades-long name dispute, make it impossible for him to continue to exercise his office, said the chairman of the nationalist party Independent Greeks (Anel).
Unclear consequences for government
The other government members of his party would retire, he announced after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. It is unclear what this means for the Greek government coalition. Tsipras‘ Syriza party has 145 seats in parliament and relies on Anel members for a majority in the 300-seat chamber. Parliamentary elections must be held in Greece until October.
„Republic of North Macedonia“
Kammenos has long rejected the agreement with Macedonia, which was signed last year. Even the main opposition party Nea Dimokratia is against the agreement.
On Friday, the Macedonian parliament in Skopje approved the country’s name change to „Republic of North Macedonia“. The Athens Parliament also needs to ratify the name change in order for it to take effect. It is intended to pave the way for the former Yugoslav republic into the EU.