ATHENS – Once close – if only by necessity – the angry battle between former foreign policy chief Nikos Kotzias from the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA and ex-defense chief Panos Kammenos has become a kind of verbal shooting war.
Kammenos, leader of the tiny, pro-austerity, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who pulled is party out of a coalition with SYRIZA to protest a deal that Kotzias fashioned to give away the name of the ancient Greek province of Macedonia to a newly-renamed North Macedonia, should have his political immunity stripped, his former ally said.
Speaking to radio station News24/7, Kotzias charged that Kammenos “is a national slanderer, he won’t avoid a conviction … I will not allow this issue to not be adjudicated by the current Parliament…”
Kotzias is still bitter thant Kammenos claimed that international US financier George Soros was pumping money into the ministry under Kotzias’ control and that the former foreign minister had a slush fund to back the Macedonia name giveaway protested by some two-thirds of Greeks with elections coming and SYRIZA faltering.
In February, Kammenos said he would soon present evidence to incriminate former foreign Kotzias but didn’t say what it was. At that time, Kammenos told Antenna TV he would bring proof of wrongdoing against Kotzias, although the former defense chief has a history of making wild charges without naming anyone or proceeding just yet.