Kammenos Wants Greece’s Name Deal With North Macedonia Annulled

Former Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – Powerless to stop a deal Greece made to for a newly-named North Macedonia, former defense minister Panos Kammenos said it should be called off because of what he claimed were repeated violations of the terms.

Kammenos is leader of the tiny, pro-austerity, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who were the junior partners in the coalition led by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whom he served before leaving in protest over the deal.

The anti-nationalist Tsipras, ending a near 28-year feud between the Balkan neighbors, pushed through the deal that changed the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), despite opposition from two-thirds of Greeks in surveys.

The agreement gave away permanently the name of the ancient Greek province of Macedonia and gave citizens of North Macedonia the right to call themselves Macedonians and have a Macedonian language, culture and identity, anathema to Kammenos and some in ANEL, although the party lost defectors to SYRIZA.

Trying to defend the record of ANEL, hovering around 1 percent in polls – below the 3 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament in elections this year – he told Antenna TV that his party would “once more play a key role” in politics.

He didn’t explain how that would happen if he and his marginal party are voted out and would have no say in politics anymore, after he reversed his anti-austerity vows to back more harsh measures so he could become defense minister.

He also called for a national unity government that would exclude “extremist figures” from SYRIZA and New Democracy, the two parties with the most support, not explaining how there could be government without them and as he won’t accept the KKE Communists nor the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.

“We ask for the vote of the Greek people so that we have the power to defend [our principles] on matters pertaining to national issues, Orthodox religion and international affairs,” Kammenos said.

He added that he reversed his alleged principles to make sure Greece had a patriotic and pro-western foreign policy. “Alexis Tsipras could not have implemented a more right-wing – in the good sense – foreign policy,” without him, he said.

2 Comments

  1. He was not “powerless” to stop the deal with FYROM aka North Macedonia; he could have withdrawn his support from the government when the plan was first announced, but he chose not to.

  2. Greek leftists claim to stand for “democracy” and care for hellenism.. .but in practice all they care about is government handouts. The ignored the will of the majority of Greeks by agreeing to call Skopians “Macedonians: These deluded far leftist fanatics ridiculously claim the issue is resolved when more than half of Skopians ignore the deal . These geniuses voted for a PM that literally believes communists were on the right side of the cold war.

    The majority of Skopians continue to promote ancient Macedonian fantasies, continue to call Skopje “Macedonia”, and continue to insinuate that Macedonia Greece belongs to them.

    Much like the Greek civil war, leftist Greeks are engaged in treason. Given the circumstances, any Greek that votes left next Greek election should be viewed with utter contempt .

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