Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will ask the Greek Parliament for a vote of confidence tomorrow. The reason for this call is the resignation of Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, chairman of the coalition partner of the right-wing populist party “Independent Greeks” (Anel), who resigned over the debate of renaming of Macedonia. The Macedonian parliament approved the renaming of Macedonia as the “Republic of Northern Macedonia” last Friday with the required two-thirds majority. Manfred Weber, EPP Spitzenkandidat for the European elections said on Twitter a few days ago that he would back Greek Christian Democrats who are against renaming Macedonia.
The spokesman for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, said:
“Manfred Weber behaves irresponsibly and fainthearted regarding Macedonia. Weber puts party loyalty to the Greek Christian Democrats first and above Macedonia’s future in Europe. Weber’s behaviour does not fit to his ambitions to become EU Commission President in a time of growing nationalism. Angela Merkel has backed Alexis Tsipras and the pro-Europeans in Macedonia. Weber and the EPP should now do the same. We should respect the decision of the Macedonian parliament and accommodate the pro-Europeans in the country. Many young Macedonians hope for a better future from Europe. The Greek Christian Democrats are populistic and short-sighted in attacking the government of Tsipras with their protest against the renaming of Macedonia. It would be economically and politically tragic for Greece and Macedonia if the solution found failed in the unfortunate name dispute. For too many years, the name dispute has hampered economic and political development in the region. Christian Democrats in Macedonia and Greece have boycotted the referendum on the name change. The leadership of the EPP must no longer duck away. The EPP should give Macedonia a European future”.