News Local Greek PM to seek support from ally to avert snap election

Greek PM to seek support from ally to avert snap election

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will ask his conservative coalition ally on Friday to keep supporting the government, hoping to avert a snap election after the parties fell out over a deal on the name of neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Tsipras has said that he will request a confidence vote if he loses the parliamentary support of the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party. ANEL has threatened to reject the Macedonia accord if it comes to parliament for approval, though it is unclear if they will pull out of government altogether.

Panos Kammenos, defence minister and head of ANEL, has described the Macedonia pact as a “bad deal”.

“I don’t think Mr Kammenos will pull his confidence in the government.. That is what I will ask of him when I meet him on Friday,” Tsipras told Greece’s Open TV in an interview on Wednesday night.

The left-right governing coalition has a razor-thin majority, possessing just 153 seats in the 300 member parliament. Seven of those seats belong to ANEL.

Despite strong domestic opposition, Greece last year agreed to the former Yugoslav republic adopting the name North Macedonia, paving the way for Skopje’s possible admission to the European Union and NATO. The accord, signed in June of last year, is now pending approval in the Macedonian parliament.

Many Greeks, however, are irked that their Balkan neighbour is assuming a name linked to Greek heritage and identical to a northern region of Greece.

Tsipras and Kammenos were expected to meet on Friday afternoon, officials said. “The answers will be given at that meeting,” said ANEL spokesman Theodoros Tosounidis.

Should Tsipras lose a confidence vote the country will head to snap elections. The leftist leader is trailing opinion polls behind opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a conservative.

Mitsotakis has also vowed to block the deal.

If Kammenos withdraws his support, Tsipras said that he would request a confidence vote before the deal comes to parliament. He also said that should he fail to secure an absolute majority of 151 lawmakers, he would complete some pending reforms before calling an early election.

The coalition’s full term expires in October.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

122 new cases, one death announced on Friday

The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 179,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Saturday, 23 January 2021: LIMASSOL Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Gafkos Clerides Park, Germasoyia 08:30-16:30 Municipal Hall Ypsonas...

Civil servants’ trade union requests psychological support for health professionals

PASYDY, the civil servants’ trade union requested psychological support for health professionals due to the consequences of COVID-19 on their health. The trade union noted...

Scientific advisory committee to convene on Monday under President Anastasiades

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, will preside on Monday morning over a meeting of the scientific advisory committee on COVID-19. According to CNA information, during the...

Polish medics depart for Slovakia to help mass testing

A group of 200 Polish medics departed for neighbouring Slovakia on Friday (January 22) to help in a week-long testing campaign in the central...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...