Greece: Opposition head to call no-confidence vote in gov't

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 15, 2018

The name dispute has prevented Macedonia from joining institutions such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and caused diplomatic tensions to bubble since the Balkan country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

But the dispute has roused strong nationalist sentiment in both countries for years. Critics in both countries were furious.

Greece's opposition New Democracy party will file a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in parliament over a deal to solve a decades-old name dispute with Macedonia, its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.

For his part, Tsipras, who "welcomed" the motion, hinted that the confrontation over the deal will be a major one.

The Macedonian government then reacted to this to say that Ivanov "failed to rise above his weakness and see the perspectives opening for the country following the agreement between Macedonia and Greece", and that "citizens, rather than the president, decide on the future of Macedonia".

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The bad blood was not limited to ruling SYRIZA and ND, as Movement For Change (KINAL) was also hit by internal strife with the leaders of its constituent parties - Fofi Gennimata of Democratic Alignment and To Potami's Stavros Theodorakis - at odds over the name deal - expected to be signed on Sunday in Prespes, northern Greece.

"Such a harmful agreement, which is unique in the history of mankind, is shameful and unacceptable for me", Mr Ivanov said in a televised speech. "It violates the Constitution (and) the laws ..." I will not legalise political illegal agreements.

If the president refuses to sign, the deal would return to parliament for another vote. If approved for a second time, the president would be obligated to sign it regardless of his own beliefs.

Up to 1,500 people held a peaceful protest against the deal outside parliament in Skopje late Wednesday, chanting "Traitors" and blowing whistles.

Greek opponents of the deal are expected to rally in Athens on Friday.

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