Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted Defence Minister Panos Kammenos' resignation in protest against an upcoming vote on adopting a name-change deal with northern neighbour Macedonia. Tsipras was speaking from Athens on Sunday.
«Today he said he is resigning as Defence Minister and that he would ask the same from other members of the Independent Greeks party. I accepted his resignation... Еще and I would accept any other resignation to come,» said Tsipras.
The Greek Prime Minister added, «we will go swiftly to the procedure that our constitution and the parliamentary rules oblige for the renewal of confidence by parliament in my government, in order to proceed with clear majority onto all those crucial choices for our society and our country.»
On Friday, the Macedonian parliament voted in favour of adopting a name-change deal with Greece, which will see the country's name change to 'Republic of Northern Macedonia', in a bid to settle a long-lasting dispute on the matter with Greece. It is now the Greek side's turn to vote in the coming weeks.
Athens and Skopje reached a name deal under which the former Yugoslav republic would be known as the Republic of North Macedonia, but the agreement has sparked protests in both countries.
Many in Greece have seen the name 'Macedonia' as posing a threat to the Greek state, arguing that it implies a territorial claim over the eponymous region of northern Greece.
The naming dispute dates back to Macedonia's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. As a result, international organisations and states that do not recognise the constitutional name 'Republic of Macedonia' refer to it as 'the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' (FYROM).